“Julia, listen, Sarah and the boys will be fine. We are having a great time reacclimatizing to Island life. This morning, we went out on my cousin’s shellfish license and caught some clams. I had Sarah in the backpack; she fell asleep on my back while I was raking. My point is that you should do whatever you need to do for your Aunt. I know that she was like a second mother to you.”
“I can’t understand you, Julia. You are crying too hard. Why don’t you stop in Northampton at Starbuck’s before you go into the hospital? Get a coffee and collect yourself.”
“NOoooo. She might die while I am deciding Grande or Tall, soymilk or one percent.”
“Okay, then at least buy a cup of tea at the hospital coffee shop. You need to be coherent and strong to talk to the doctors. Aunt Gillian will be counting on you to do this for her. Wasn’t it less than a month ago that she asked you to be executor of her estate?”
“Well, she updated all of her documents with her estate lawyer. She included a DNR, Declan. She doesn’t want to be resuscitated, Dec.”
“You need to stay present, Jules. Go in and see what is going on. She named you her health care proxy, so you should be able to get all the information.”
I hear her snifflle, then take a deep breath.
I hope my pep talk is helping. I am sitting on State Beach, watching the boys while they take turns using a paddle board. We rented it from the vendor on Beach Road. Sarah is digging a hole and watching the water fill it. From where I sit, Life is Good.
My thoughts take a tumble. Julia and I have a complicated history. Our children were the single reason we came together. She was pregnant and I was in an untenable situation. When we compared notes, we made a deliberate and concerted effort to spawn a relationship, to get married. My family was ecstatic that I was marrying up. Her family was receptive to me; I was familiar since we had been close high school friends. Our college years were spent apart. When I saw her next, we needed each other. From that need, we have built a life.
I know that for Julia, Aunt Gillian’s mortality is not easily contemplated. One lose so closely resembles another where the heart is concerned.