My sons called you Aunt Sheesh. You were my sidekick through life; an early birthday gift the year I turned four. I can’t forget having to leave you and our poodle NiNi when I ran away from Mobile, AL in July of 1979. You’re both dead now. I have survivor’s guilt. It’s still hard to write the word dead for the two of you; deaths caused by friendly fire on the battlefield of the family wars.
I flew away in the middle of the night, leaving everything that was precious to me behind, except for my independence. I could not live a prisoner of war, home is a foreign place, an enemy camp. I failed you and NiNi. I could not keep you safe. The grief is deep in my heart for the way you lived the last eleven years and two days of your life. I feel you and NiNi waiting for me. You did nothing that requires my forgiveness.