My Aunt Terry

May 24, 2011
By Anonymous

My aunt Terry and I had an immense amount of fun together. We did the craziest things and went to the craziest places. Anytime I knew she was coming to a family event, (her being my favorite aunt), I would get excited for the sole fact that she would be there. I told myself when I got to be her age; I would be fun like her. She had long, thick auburn hair and deep green eyes. Always full of life, and always with a smile on her face, even when she did not feel well. We went to art festivals, took pictures around Louisiana while she lived there, and practiced radio broadcasting together, her dream. But one day - that changed.

On August 1, 2010, my aunt Terry died of cervical cancer after a two year battle. I was sad to see her body withered, her hair gone. She shrank two sized in six months. In and out of the hospital, chemo therapy became a weekly routine. After two years and almost a full recovery, a new tumor grew and doctors realized chemo therapy did not work like it usually did. The doctors decided to try a new treatment, a hormone therapy; we would have found out if it was working by August 14. My family found out it had failed in the way we all feared we would.

A few weeks after the funeral, a story about green sparkles starting to be passed around from my aunt Terry’s sister, to her mother, to her brother (my dad) and down to my mother, brother, and I. Terry’s favorite color was green. It was the main color of her wedding, and the color of the dress she was buried in. One night, Terry’s mother, Sandra, walked into in Terry’s bedroom, that she slept in while growing up, to get a blanket from the closet. There was a tube of green sparkles sitting on the dresser, left over from an art project we all did together. The sparkles ended up being knocked over into the carpet. My grandmother vacuumed them up and forgot about them. She told my family and me one day when we were visiting that a few days after the spill, she was crying in her bedroom about losing Terry. She said she looked down and there was a green sparkle on her quilt. I wrote it off as a coincidence and told myself that it got stuck on her shirt and came off on the bed.

A month or so later, Terry’s six year old daughter, Abrianna, came to visit. We were all sitting at the dining room table about to eat when Abby said there was a green sparkle on her placemat. (My grandmother had not yet told her about her own sparkle encounter on her bed.) My grandmother told her it was Terry saying hello; I once again wrote it off in my mind.

On Easter Sunday, my family was once again at my grandmother’s house. We were eating lunch when my mom saw a green sparkle on my dad’s placemat. The family was excited and it brought my mom to tears. I wrote it off once more because it was in Sandra’s house. However, I began to think, if this is really Terry leaving these sparkles, where the heck was mine? Sandra, Abby, and now my Mom and Dad, I wanted a sparkle. I told myself I was being ridiculous and forgot about it.

In early may, I was sitting at my house eating lunch after school. I made a sandwich, grabbed some chips, and sat down on the couch to watch Law and Order: SVU. After a few bites I looked into my sandwich and there it was, a green sparkle dancing at my eyes on the top slice of Mrs. Baird’s bread. To this day, I do not understand how one sparkle jumped into a closed loaf of bread, twist-tie still intact.

I hope green sparkles continue to end up on weird things in my life. While being a tiny bit frightened of the unknown, it is comforting to know that Terry knew I needed my sparkle. I am so glad she gave it to me. My aunt Terry and I had a relationship like no one else in the family; I will never forget her, and I know she has not forgotten me.

The author's comments:
True Story.

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