Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I didn’t realize – until driving to meet Ashley for dinner last night – how much I associate that area with Aunt Marie.

A legendary boulevard in metro Detroit. Famous for cars and cruising. A corridor of youth-friendly cities. Dotting along it: her hospital, her grocery store, her community, the zoo (where she always had an annual membership), her market, the little shops and boutiques that she was always discovering.

I didn’t know – until I was at the intersection – that my breath would catch in my throat when I found myself on the corner of the boulevard that I so associate with my Aunt Marie and the street of the church - HER church - where her funeral was held.

I didn’t realize – until I was doing it – that I’d turned off of Woodward, onto the
intersecting road. Past the main entrance of the hospital where she spent too much time.

How many days did I pull into that parking structure? How many times did I pull my
coat tight to my body, tuck my chin to my chest and brace myself against the wind that came howling down that main drive? How many afternoons did I somehow manage to find her in that hospital, that damn maze of towers with staff members who were forever switching her floor? How many times did I see her smile when I walked through the door to her room - no matter who else was there, no matter how awful she felt. No matter what.

I felt her. On that busy, congested road. In the lights that illuminated the hospital in the calm dusk.

It wasn't a bittersweet sadness. It was an ugly sad. An angry sad. I wanted to drive that road to her neighborhood and pull into her narrow driveway and climb the front steps and poke my head into the house and hear her yelling to me from the kitchen. I wanted to park in that bloody structure and navigate the asinine hospital floor plan and see her smile at me when I walked into her room.

I wanted her not to be dead.


Anonymous said...


my life is brilliant said...

Your writing is amazing. You always have this way of describing that's so in-the-moment. You had me tearing up. I hope getting this out made you feel a little better.

I'm sure your Aunt Marie is still smiling upon you now.

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