Lately Mr Sunshine and I have had our share of trouble. Not our relationship nor or children or grandchildren. Not our health either. So we really have a lot to be grateful for, don't we?
Sometimes when you hit rough times it is good to remember that many others are worse off and yet still manage to stay cheerful. So as I was scrolling through my thousands of photos on the computer and I found this photo of my Aunty J and her grandson JT(that makes him my cousin, once removed, I believe) I decided to do a post about her.
Aunty J was a bit of a live wire in her younger days and a very upbeat lady. She married an alcoholic who gradually drank himself to death, but not before they had 5 children. The youngest, D, was 16 when his Dad died. Only 9 years later one of her sons, B, died at the age of 27 after a short illness and 2 years later his little brother, D, took his own life at the same age as B when he died. For the next 3 years Aunty J battled on in her own cheerful way and at some point, I'm not sure when, her grandson JT came to live with her and keep her company. He had had a marriage breakup and suffered badly from depression.
The next blow was when my cousin T, the youngest of the 2 girls was diagnosed with breast cancer. For about 13 years T battled the disease with amazing courage. Then her brother, M, was also diagnosed with cancer - in his stomach. Within a few weeks of his diagnosis, M's wife was also diagnosed with breast cancer. M went downhill fast, but also with amazing courage and played down the illness for as long as he could. My cousin, T, who had been in and out of hospital managed to get to her brother's funeral, but it was the last straw and she spent the next 10-12 weeks in hospital before finally passing away. M's wife is battling on with her breast cancer.
Now with only one of her 5 children left alive, Aunty J lives on but is often dependant on bottled oxygen because her own health is failing. She grew more dependant on her grandson JT for company. A few months ago she went to wake up JT for breakfast and he would not wake up, he had died in his sleep from a brain inflammation. Aunty J now lives alone. Her only child, my cousin D, rings her often and visits and helps where she can. My other Aunties also visit when they can, but they are not young anymore either.
Aunty J battles on.
My troubles pale by comparison.