I had a dream about my aunt the other night. Nothing major – she and I were talking and laughing on the phone. That was it. Short and sweet.

Needless to say, she has been on my mind – especially since we’re approaching the one-year anniversary of her death. However, I have decided to post something fun about her. One of my many hilarious (and touching) stories of why I loved her so much and how, despite being my aunt, she was more like my second mother.

In 1998, I was at the end of a 2-year relationship with someone (we shall refer to him as “D”). Our relationship had pretty much run it’s course, although neither of us was willing to actually put an end to it. After two years, that can be kind of hard. I still had some hope we could work things out, and he told me the same.

Just a bit if background: D and I met at work – a local high school where my aunt also worked. I eventually left that job and went to grad school about 50 miles away. Things were great for a while, but as I said before, towards the end of that second year, things just didn’t seem right. I was driving home one night in December after taking my last final exam of the semester when I saw D driving in the opposite direction. Something in my gut just told me that this was not a good thing. To this day I don’t know why I felt that, but I could literally feel that something was wrong. I got home and said something to my mom about it – why would D be out in that specific area? She got this look on her face and told me that I should give my aunt a call. So I did.

I remember my hands were shaking as I dialed her number, and when she got on the phone I told her I had just seen D and I knew she knew something. “How much do you want to know?,” she asked. “I want to know everything,” I responded.

And she told me everything. She told me about the love notes he wrote and received from another teacher in his department. She told me about how they “wished” he could get out of his “situation”. She told me how he couldn’t look her in the eye when he’d pass her in the halls. She told me that the night he was to have dinner with me (as we tried to salvage what was left), he blew me off and went on a date with this woman.

I cried and I got angry – using every swear word imaginable. I asked her how long she knew and she told me she had known for a few weeks but didn’t want me to tell me until I had finished my exams – knowing that I could not have focused enough to pass them.

My aunt never treated him the same way after that. She refused to do him any favors at work like she used to do. A couple of months later, when he had the nerve to actually call me, he said, “It looks like I crossed the wrong person” (referring to me). I said, “You crossed the wrong family.”

I know how hard it must have been for my aunt to tell me what D had done to me. I know it hurt her like it hurt me. But I love her for it.

And in a bit of irony, after she passed away, D e-mailed me telling me how much he would miss her and that she was always so nice to him. I thought, “You have no idea the things she said about you.” I guess he’ll never know…

Just a reminder – we’re walking in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk on September 8th. Even if you’re not going to donate, please check out my web page to learn more about blood cancers and to see a picture of my aunt:

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