Dear Aunt Diana,

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. It seems slightly inappropriate to clutter this blog that I’ve dedicated to my mother with your name…but since this has all come to a head because of her cancer I figured it’s OK to put this here. Trust me, the thought crossed my mind more than once to actually send this letter to you. I know my mom wouldn’t want me to be angry at you and I know she wouldn’t want me to send you a nasty letter. The main reason I won’t is because you will lash out at Grandma and she has been through enough with the loss of Uncle Mark and now my mom. Pisses me off that you’d take it out on her, but you’ll just blame your depression.

Speaking of your depression. I get it, I really really do. What I don’t get is using it as a crutch, or an excuse to treat people like shit. My anger towards you started a long time ago when you neglected to take care of Johnny. He deserved so much more than a messy, hoarder apartment filled with cigarette smoke. He deserved more than McDonald’s dinners and frozen chicken nuggets. He deserved more than a drug addict mother passed out on the couch. I let it go because he truly loved you. He loved you so so much, it made me so sad. I even called CPS to investigate you. Uncle Gary wanted to adopt him. You should have let him. Anyway, I ended up letting that go. I basically had no contact with you over the years, only through facebook which was fine with me. Uncle Mark was diagnosed with leukemia and then we started talking again which quickly ended because you handled it like an ASSHOLE. Criticizing everyone in our family for not doing enough. Mad at Grandma for not going to see him. Mad at my mom for not going sooner. Mad at Uncle Gary for not being with him the exact moment he died. My mom and Grandma offered to take you with them but you wouldn’t go. I read the text messages you sent my mom, you fucking nut case. You were not the victim or the center of attention during his treatment or death, and you constantly distracted the people closest to him with your hysteria. You even called and yelled at Aunt Sharon?! WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING?! You stressed everyone out so much during that time and we all kept using the excuse that you didn’t know any better. It was easy for me to detach myself because honestly I wasn’t close to Uncle Mark and I wasn’t a part of the situation. But with my mom, I was very much a part of that and your behavior was absolutely despicable.  We found out the same day that my mom had cancer. We talked the same day, not on the phone though! Nope, because you didn’t have a cell phone. Because you couldn’t pay for one. But anyways. We talked via facebook messenger and you told me that you would be here for me and my mom. That you wanted to go with her to any treatments or appointments that you could. I was so relieved because I actually forgot for a few minutes that you were literally crazy and thought you would actually help. At that point all we knew was that it was cancer. We had no clue how bad it was, what stage, where it was…etc. So I was thinking it was unrealistic for me to promise her that I would go to all of her treatments and appointments but I didn’t want her to be alone for any of them. I was so happy that between the two of us, most of her appointments would be covered. The very first time I asked you for help you gave me a million excuses why you couldn’t help. It was then that I was reminded of your craziness. I was so mad at you. You acted like my mom was dying before we even really knew what we were dealing with. You stressed me out, my mom, and Grandma and we hadn’t even begun dealing with anything yet. When my mom was hospitalized you told her almost daily that you’d come see her, but you came ONE TIME. ONE TIME in the month and half that she was hospitalized. “I fall asleep when I drive.” “My steering doesn’t work on my car so I have to come on a day when not a lot of people are there because it’s hard for me to park.” “Ron won’t give me rent money, so I had to use my own money to cover his half of rent.” “Johnny and I have appointments all day.” Instead, you know who was by her side all day and into the night? Me. I was so lucky my work understood and let me work remotely. My mom was lucky too. Otherwise she would have spent a lot of time alone, and scared, and NO ONE would know what was going on.You yelled at me, and called me all the names in your dumb little brain for how I handled things. If I didn’t tell you when I left the hospital so you could call her, the whole family heard about how you thought I purposely didn’t tell you because I didn’t want you contacting my mom. What you failed to think about in your selfish little brain was the fact that I couldn’t even think when I left the hospital. It pretty much killed my heart to leave her every night. By the time I was down the hall and to the elevator I was in auto pilot. I don’t even remember driving home most nights. You were most certainly NOT even close to my thoughts. I was thinking how unfair it was that my mom was there. That she was in so much pain. That every little smell made her sick. That she couldn’t sleep. That she was going to die soon. I thought about how guilty I felt leaving her. Mostly I was thinking about all the things I needed to help her take care of before she got too bad to tell me how she wanted things handled. I was trying to think about all of these things, all alone.  So I’m not sorry that I didn’t call you when I left the hospital at night.

By the way, did you know Ron contacted my mom after your slew of excuses to not come see her. He told her he offered to drive you to the hospital, he gave you the rent money, and a bunch of other things which contradicted what you said. He said he didn’t care if she told you he talked to you but they both knew that telling you would only escalate the situation. Luckily my mom was good at keeping secrets when it came to sparing other people’s feelings I have come to find out.

Fast forward to when she started dying. I called you out of courtesy to come see her one last time. The way she was declining I thought it was going to be that night or the next day. I talked to Uncle Gary about it and he agreed it would be the best thing for me to tell you or you would hold it against me forever. You freaked out, screaming and crying on the phone and I instantly regretted calling you. Any other person would have thanked me for calling and told me they’d be there as soon as possible. Funny how you weren’t going to fall asleep driving this time…

When you got there it further confirmed that I made a mistake. My mom wasn’t herself and she was very agitated, confused, she was already gone. I had my time with her that morning. I told her she was getting worse, we cried and held each other…and that was our goodbye. You wanted something meaningful too, even though you have no clue we shared that special moment. You wanted her to tell you she loved you and that everything was going to be ok, and she forgave you for all your stupidity. Newsflash Aunt Diana: death doesn’t happen like all the millions of movies you waste your time watching. I was so mad at you for wanting more from her than she could give. She was looking at you with the most innocent look, and you were wanting so much from her. She was drugged up, they couldn’t even keep up with her pain and the amount of meds she had in her would have probably killed you and I. Well me at least. I forgot you are addicted to prescription meds. I told you that my mom and I had talked about the end of her life and that we wanted to keep it private, between her and I. That she didn’t want anyone to see her at the end. I lied. We never talked about that. But there are two reasons I told that to you and everyone else:
1. I wanted that time with her and I earned it. I deserved it. She was my mom, I was her daughter. Even though her and I had a rocky relationship my whole life, that bond couldn’t be broken. I wanted to be selfish with her because I never got to be selfish with her. I didn’t owe that explanation to anyone. Especially not you.
2. You drove me absolutely crazy. When you entered the room I wanted to punch you in the face. When you tried to demand things from my mom that she was incapable of telling you, I wanted to scream at you. I wanted you to understand that you were never going to get what you wanted from her. I didn’t have the energy to hold back when she was at hospice. If you had shown up one more time I would have asked the staff to escort you out. AND THEY WOULD HAVE. You fucking psycho.

Here’s the icing of the cake so to speak. When she did die, I posted it on facebook. I logged into her facebook and posted it there. Uncle Gary texted me and asked me to tag him in that post so his friends could see his sister died, and if they wanted to go to the wake they would know where it was. Simple enough, right? Pffff. WRONG. Aunt Crazy Diana took it personally that I didn’t tag her!!!!! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! So then you posted on facebook  “I don’t know why I let the actions of certain individuals surprise me.” Then your dumb friends commented and you asked them if you were taking it too personally and they said “OH ABSOLUTELY NOT!” You fucking dumb ass. That post had NOTHING to do with you. It had everything to do with my dead mother. I wasn’t thinking about you at all when I posted about her death. If I am truly honest, I was thinking about her friends. I was thinking about how many of her friends would show up. Fuck you.

You were mad at me for not accepting one of your dresses to put on her dead body. The guy at the funeral told me it had to be long sleeved. You told everyone I didn’t want your dress. Truth be told: it probably would have smelled like stale cigarettes anyway. After her funeral we were going to eat at Stancato’s. Uncle Gary was in town. Our last time to be together until the next funeral. You fucking went home. You stupid asshole. Of course you let Johnny go with us, probably thinking Uncle Gary would pay for his meal. It wasn’t him. I would have paid for your dumb meal too.

I don’t care if we ever speak again. You are a horribly selfish person for not ever once during this horrible time thinking of anyone else but yourself. You never once told me you were sorry for what I was going through. You could have been a huge part in this, and we could have gone through this together. But you chose not to. You have NO ONE to blame for that but yourself. My mom was really good at loving people, I don’t think anyone understands that more than me…now that it’s too late. We are all lucky to have had her. I certainly didn’t deserve her love. My mom would be sad knowing that this is happening between you and I…but I can’t find it in my heart to forgive you for what you did to Aunt Sharon, Uncle Gary, my mom, Grandma, and myself.

I’ll give you the things I think you would want, and the photo albums that my mom told me to give you. You don’t deserve them, and they will all probably be ruined in a few years. I suggest keeping the pictures in some sort of album that protects them..because all that smoke will turn them yellow and curl the corners.

I may just end up sending you this letter some day when Grandma is gone, so you don’t lash out on her.

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