1969, 1992, 2008.

December is supposed to be a month of joy, happiness and celebration. More so for us with my dads birthday on December 20th.
Except its not a month for celebrating for all of us.
42 years ago today my nanny and grandad (who died in 1992) did the thing that all of us parents dread.
They said Goodbye to their daughter.
At 22 years of age my aunty died of skin cancer. She left behind a husband and two daughters.
It was the day before my dads 9th birthday.

Obviously I didn't get to meet my Aunty and I don't know much about her, simply because my dad was a little too young to remember much and doesn't really talk about it. And I daren't talk to my nan about it as I don't want to upset her. Due to this this day doesn't ruin my month or my feelings towards this time of year. I didn't know my Aunty so its hard to feel total sadness for someone I didn't know.
I feel sad for missing out on having an Aunty who I never met.
I feel sorry for my dad for having this tragedy happen so close to his birthday and for losing one of his sisters.
But mostly I feel sorry for my nan.
Having to deal with that loss is unimaginable.
Except she had to go through the same in 2008.

My second paternal Aunty was moving back home from Nottingham after her partner had died. She had nothing left there so moved back.
Most of my memories of this Aunty are negative and we had reservations on whether or not her coming back would be good for my nan but my nan was excited so we went along with it.
I was working nights at Superdrug this week and had a couple of calls from my dad just saying that my aunty was in hospital and to expect the worst.
She's gone back to Nottingham to finalise things (house, packing etc) and had fallen ill.
On the Saturday morning I had the call to say she'd died.

I cried.
Partly for my aunty.
But mostly for my nan.
To lose one daughter is awful, to lose two is just cruel.

This leaves only my dad.
I couldn't imagine being the only child left. The thought of something happening to my brother just fills me with the worst feeling.
Being a twin I feel I can't outlive my brother as it wouldn't be fair.

My nan became quite frail after this and we all worried for her health.
Thankfully she fought on, although how much she wanted to I do not know and is now a chirpy 92 year old with life left in her. (I've bet her that she'll live to see 100!)

On her 90th birthday I definitely won best the grandchild award as I spent almost all day with her (others didn't even ring and just turned up to her surprise meal that evening!)
At one point we got to talking about her girls and she told me (my dad and her then boyfriend, who sadly died this year) that she's not afraid of dying as she knows people are waiting for her.
I had to walk off and have a moment as it was hard to hear.
Hard because of two things:
1: She has lots of us here who want and need her.
2: It's so sad that she has 2 daughters waiting for her, when it should be her waiting for them.

I have a lot of respect for my nan for what she's gone through and hope I never go through the same, I don't think I could be as strong.

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