Happy Birthday and Joyful Journeys, Karla
Today is my aunts birthday. To be honest, I struggle to remember her age – she’s sort of stopped at 49 in my mind – and that was quite some time ago in reality. But you know how it is, some people just have a ‘stage’, not an age. Karla is a hard working, creative, stubborn, incredible woman; one who seemed to just throw herself into the wise woman stage and stay there.
4 months and 7 days ago my aunt and other-mother Karla died. Cancer – of pretty much everything. Out of nowhere, approx 6 months warning, a hideous road that I can’t even think about yet, and then… gone.
She has taught me most of what I know about being a contradiction: though often sick and in huge amounts of pain she was vital, strong minded (ok, bloody minded!), stubborn, and always had the ‘right’ way to do anything, which no one else could. To be honest, she could be a right royal pain in the asp (as Cleopatra said, I believe.). She loves her dogs, her family, and had a soft spot for kids, and the worlds biggest, best, and most ironic sense of humour. She would let NOTHING get between her and a laugh, and made many situations bearable because of that alone.
I flick between past and present tense because I still can’t believe she has gone. I wrote a poem for her, not long before she died, and I asked how we would cope without her. It turns out, you just.. go on. Coping is irrelevant – you do what you can. Some moments are beyond sad, some funny: life seems brighter now that those shadows just behind me are deeper. Grief sharpens my love, and sometimes crushes my throat so badly I can’t talk: then, I walk. I’m hoping soon I’ll be able to write. As, at the moment I can’t see this screen, perhaps its best left here. Love, life, loss – its a journey. We’re all stumbling through.
Karla, I miss you so much. One of my favourite things was talking to you, pretty much every day, and also sharing LOL cat / dog funnies. Just before the end we discussed the spelling on those damn things – you and I agreed that the ’emotional’ spelling alternatives were hilarious (other members of the family, yes you V and C hehehe HATE the spellings) – and one of your favourites was “k thx bye” – maximum expression, minimal letters. Thats where I go when I think of you, Karla, and I don’t have the luxury of crying. K, (Karla) – thx (for EVERYTHING), bye. I miss you. I love you.