I came to visit my cousin. She is 86 years old, owing to her actually being my grandmother's first cousin and my first cousin twice removed. She lives in a convent in Brentwood, as she is a nun. She is my sole remaining female relatives. How many relatives have I watched slowly die? I sat at my grandmothers' bedsides. I sat at my mother's. Now, at my cousin's. She hasn't eaten anything in three days and barely takes liquid. She nearly died a few weeks ago. She had an anti-biotic resistant infection in her blood. The nuns called my dad saying that they didn't think she would live through the weekend, but then she did. My dad didn't tell me, because I was so far away. I've been complaining about this to other people and not him, but actually, I'm not mad. You can't undo the past. And I'm kind of glad I didn't know.
It's been nearly a year since I last came to see her. Last July or August I came by myself. Normally, I came every time with Christi. Now I'm here with my dad. She didn't open her eyes to recognize me. I'm not sure if she was asleep or awake when I held her hand and talked to her about grad school. I can hear her voice so clearly in my head, being excited when I told her I was going away to school. But now she's nearly mute. Sister Jeanne said that she can be more talkative around lunchtime.
I didn't come over fall break or thanksgiving or winter break or spring break. Now, I'm finally here. And she. like everyone I love, will die or leave. I expect to be back here soon.