Words not said enough.
(First things first, I am from a rural town in the south so my writing is not perfect or even close to it, so I apologize beforehand please keep grammar comments to yourself thank you.)
The picture above is of my great aunt and I, it was taken when I was around five or six years old.
I was born the son of two young parents who had their first son (my older brother) when my mother was just 17, and had me when she was 21. Both of my parents worked their asses off to make sure our family had food on the table and a roof over out heads. My father worked in a saw mill in my younger life and later began his own construction business at about the time I was 10 where as my mother worked as a waitress at a local restaurant for as long as I have been alive. We never had much if any “extra” money growing up, the only time we got things we wanted rather than needed was christmas and occasionally our birthdays. I always felt ashamed of myself at school because when your younger you feel like you have to be dressed like the other kids to fit in. Don’t get me wrong though I thought it was shameful then when I went to school with kids dressed in Nike, American Eagle and lived in houses rather than in a trailer like I did, but we under no means had it “rough”.
Looking back on the situation with my parents having children at such a young age they had to work constantly to care for me and my brother. Luckily some members of our family offered to help out by babysitting me and my brother. My brother was watched by my grandparents, and I was looked after by my great aunt Kay. This started before I was even in school Kay would watch after me while my parents were at work. This caused my parents to miss out on a lot of the moments parents never want to miss like teaching me to walk or helping me dye easter eggs. You know the small things parents always wanna see happen.
When school started I would always ride the bus in the afternoons to Kay’s house and spend most of the afternoon with her until one of my parents got off work to come get me. On the weekends I would spend the night at her house because there were some kids who lived across the street who were around my age that I could play with. This was my weekly routine until I got into middle school. In middle school my parents began to fight more and more, and in turn I would try to stay the night with my aunt more and more. Until one day my dad came to pick me up from my aunts and while on the drive home he looked over at me and said “I know you don’t want this to happen but me and your mom are getting divorced.” This was something I knew was for the best but would not be easy on anyone. I did not want to live with either parent by myself so I packed up all my clothes when I got home and asked dad to take me to Kay’s to live. He had no rejections he knew it would be easier on me and that she had basically raised me anyways.
It took me a long time to grasp all the emotions of my parents getting divorced and living in a different house full time, but there is no where I would have rather lived. Kay and her husband Richard would give anyone the shirt off their back if they truly needed it. They both grew up in rural areas in the 50’s with no septic or running water. Richard’s parents house had dirt floors growing up and only got a 8th grade education but none of that stopped him from making something of himself. He owns his own small business now. They both were huge influences on my life. They both always had good advice every time I talked to them, they always showed me to be kind and humble no matter the circumstances and thats something I don’t think many people teach their kids these days let alone someone else's kids.
The picture below is the last picture I ever took with Kay, it was at my high school graduation in June on 2013 she passed unexpectedly on August 3, 2013. I had a 6 month downward spiral after the funeral that I’m glad I got out of with the help of my friends. I had never had any family that is close to me pass before my aunt Kay unlucky for me it was also my best friend that passed away that day. My family rarely said “I love you” when I was growing up, not at the end of phone calls or when someone is walking out the door… not ever really. So my biggest regret I have to this day is not telling Kay before she was in the hospital that I love her more than that one time.
P.S. Kay’s death was due to a misdiagnosis which in turn made her septic, they done a last chance surgery to try and save her. My grandmother was in the room with her right before the surgery and Kay looked at her and said “Tell Aussie everything will be alright.”
In short please tell everyone that means anything to you that you love them you never know when it will be the last time you see them or not.