Aunt Becky

19 Apr

My sophomore year of high school, my mom got a call from my grandfather. He told her that my foster mother was very sick and that she wanted to see me before she died. My mom said of course and pulled me out of school for a few days. We drove to Pennsylvania where we went to visit her.

They told her I was coming and when we got there, warned me. She could not talk and may not recognize me. As I walked in the room she locked eyes with me instantly. I went and sat by her side and held her hand. She squeezed it so tight and did not let go. I am not sure how long I sat there. She was surrounded by other family members including my foster father, 2 foster brothers and some of their significant others and children. We all talked and after a little while I went for a walk with the two girls who would have been my nieces. I fell in love with them instantly.  Those two girls made me feel like I was a part of the family. That we had known each other for ages.

My mom and I said our goodbyes when it was time to go. My foster mother was getting in to bed. The next day we met my grandfather and his wife for breakfast and they told us she had passed away the previous night. They believed she had hung on as long as she did so she could see me one last time. Of course I felt so guilty. Like maybe I should not have gone so soon so they could have had her longer but I realize now that I am older that was not the case. She was physically ready to go. Emotionally, she had been holding on.

A few years later my grandfather passed away and my foster father came to the funeral. It was there he and I really reconnected. He told me that he was remarrying and invited me to the wedding. I didn’t tell my mom and my dad, but my boyfriend and I drove to Pennsylvania for the wedding! It was such a special moment to be a part of but also so strange as all these people kept coming up to me telling me stories of, “I knew you when you were this tall” making a gesture showing they knew me when I was a wee little thing!

After the wedding I spent a few days with his oldest son (who should I have grown up with them, would have been my oldest brother) and his wife and four children. It was such a nice time. The kids all called me Aunt Becky. It appears they all grew up knowing who “Becky” was. They even told me that their grandmother still had my room in her house while they were growing up. I couldn’t believe it. I was special enough to this family that even when I had not been around for so many years, I was still in a way a part of it.

Since then, we have kept in touch with Christmas cards every year, sometimes letters and cards in between and of course now through social media it is even easier to be in touch! Who said families are cookie cutter? Families come in all shapes and sizes. Families are the people who love you. Sometimes they are your biological parents and siblings. Sometimes they are other relatives. Sometimes they are people who have come into your life and and become such a special part of it.


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