Sunday, December 11, 2016

The "Aunt Jeanette", edition.

It's Sunday morning. Friday evening we received a call that my Aunt Jeanette had died. Let me tell you about my Aunt Jeanette. She is actually my dad's first cousin, but any adult cousin in my family was referred to as an aunt or uncle. She lived in Yellow Springs, Ohio, my dad's hometown. Heh. Yellow Springs is ground zero for the Perry family. When I was a kid we made many trips there to visit my grandmother...and relatives...and my godparents who lived up the road in Wilberforce, Ohio. 

As soon as we arrived in Yellow Springs, I'd make a beeline to Aunt Jeanette's house. Now I've got to let you know that I had a cartload of relatives there, but it was Aunt Jeanette's house where I was headed.  It was maybe 1/2 mile - mile away. I'd get to the house and walk right on in. She had 5 kids 4 daughters and a son, but I was always welcome. As a matter of fact she started referring to me as her 5th daughter. 

As a young adult I was diagnosed with an inherited genetic disease, acute intermittent porphyria (AIP). Not to long after my diagnoses, Aunt Jeanette was also diagnosed with AIP. Fast forward to 2012. We both were diagnosed with end stage renal disease (ESRD) also known as full on kidney failure. Our diagnoses were weeks apart. Yep. I am the 5th daughter. I had hoped to visit her in Yellow Springs before we moved to Las Vegas, but we weren't able to fit it in. However, I was being kept up to date on her by her daughters and granddaughters. Make no mistake. She was loved very much!!  

So last year, I get a call from one of her daughters. Rosie planned to bring Aunt Jeanette and Uncle George to Las Vegas and she wanted to know a good dialysis center.  And she was researching the centers.  It had to a good one...because some are much better than others.  And she found one that met her standards to care of for Aunt Jeannete.  So let me tell you what it took to get my aunt and uncle out here. And it's all about love. 

My aunt and uncle are both in a nursing home.  And Aunt Jeanette not only did dialysis 3 times a week, she was using oxygen and they both use wheel chairs.  Rosie and her husband flew from Texas(?) to Columbus, Ohio and drove about an hour or so to Yellow Springs to get my aunt and uncle. Drove back to Columbus, took a flight to Las Vegas...and remember both my aunt and uncle are in wheelchairs. And two other of her daughters met them out here. One flew in from Arizona and the other flew in from Atlanta. And one day Aunt Jeanette's sister came from California to visit!  And yes Dad, Brian and I spent a lot of time with them while they were here. 

So imagine my surprise when my Facebook memory for today were photos of the visit. <3. I'm glad Shawn  got to see Aunt Jeanette when she went to the family reunion in September. And I'm so glad I spent time with her and her family last year this time. Aunt Jeanette was indeed one of my moms. When I was with her I felt unconditional love. She was a wonderful person. (And she introduced me to lemon merangue pie!) She will be missed. 

That's it for today. When we went to San Diego, Dad and Uncle Buster were talking about how their children are taking care of them. And yes, Uncle Buster's kids were absolutely doting on him. And the children of Aunt Jeanette and Uncle George dote on them. Aunt Dorothy (96 years old) has her own apartment in her son's house. And of course we're out here with Dad...keeping him out of trouble. We grew up honoring and loving our parents and aunts and uncles. And we knew we were loved. I'm going to miss my Aunt Jeanette.  I've lost another mom. <3. Give your older relatives a call today. They'll love hearing from you and you'll enjoy talking with them. :-). 

Uncle George, Rosie and Aunt Jeanette
Standing, me, 2 of Aunt Jeanette daughters, Dad and Rosie's husband. 

Aunt Jeanette, courtesy of one of her granddaughters. 

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