Crazy Aunt

My mother was a triplet and within them she was an identical twin with my Aunt Carole. I never really knew my Aunt Carole. When we were growing up she lived out in Washington state and only ever visited once, that I can remember, and that was when I was around 10. Aunt June (the other triplet) would often travel out to Washington to check on her and talk to Carole’s many doctors because she had many different “illnesses” and mental issues. Aunt June was just generally concerned for her well being and wanted to make sure Carole had a place to live and food to eat, things like that. The problem was that Carole would always tell all of her “friends” and the people around her terrible lies about my Aunt and the whole family and they would all be horribly mean to June the whole time she was there. But, June would go anyway because she was more concerned about her being on the street and no one knowing than how she might treat her.

My mother was always too afraid to go with my Aunt June on these visits because of how Carole would treat June. My mother would also say that her and my Aunt Carole could not stand being in the same room together. She would call Carole from time to time to update her about things going on in her life but she always told me that it hurt her that Carole never asked her about any of it first (kids, cancer, life in general). My mom always had to volunteer the information and she felt Carole was selfish.

Fast forward to June of 2005. My mother is very sick and in the last stages of cancer (breast, bone, blood, lung, all over at this point). Carole decides to come see her, we have not seen her in about 20 years. At the end my mother was having more and more bouts of memory loss that would last longer and longer. Sometimes she would know who I was and sometimes she would call me “Junie” (My Aunt June). Before Carole got there my mother talked about seeing her and the fact that she was not even sure that she wanted to see her at this point. She reiterated the fact that they had problems being in the same room together for too long. By the time Carole got there my mother didn’t know who she was. I still to this day wonder however, if my mother ‘did’ know and just pretended because she did not want to face her or talk to her. It is fine either way with me.

Carole only seemed to be there for the shock factor anyway. She made the comment that all these people had come to see the long lost twin sister. My siblings and I said ” No, they are ALL here to see our dying mother!” That is when we decided we did not really care for our Aunt Carole. My mother was very thin from the cancer and Carole did look quite a bit like my mother when she was well. Many people that had not seen my mother in a while that had come to see her before she died had mistaken Carole for my Mother. It seemed to just tickle Carole every time this happened and disturbed my siblings and I. She did not seem at all concerned for my mother and really was very disruptive in the grieving process, as well as creepily tried to take over taking care of certain tasks for my father so we asked her to go home. My mother died a week later on June 27.

Her death has brought all of my three brothers and sister closer together in many ways. We were all together when she died ( I was at home right when she died but drove there in record time when my brother called). It was a very surreal moment from what I can remember. It was so very quiet. I felt like I could feel her presence in the room above all of us for a few moments and then it was gone and the room felt cold. I remember the coroner coming to get her and feeling like everything was moving in slow motion, it felt like I was in a movie and I was watching myself. I wrote a paper about that night and how it felt for an english class, I will try to include it here.

I don’t know how it happened and I don’t know that I really care but right after Carole went home she and my dad started talking on the phone. The next thing we knew a few weeks later my dad flew out to Washington state to see her and then without telling any of us (or inviting us for that matter) he married her out there. He brought her back here soon after and she promptly began to root herself into my mothers old life.


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