Tag Archives: aging

Day 26: Aunt Sue

My Aunt Sue was the recipient of my letter on Day 10 – it was her birthday. As I mentioned then she’s struggled over the past year with several health problems and her memory has gotten much worse. Today I called her to see how she was doing and she sounded great – just like she used to. In fact, she said herself that she felt like parts of her memory were slowly coming back to her.

She lives in an assisted living center and is supposed to go to meals in the dining room, but since she’s been there she’s only been down to the dining room probably a dozen times. She said today that she has started going – and didn’t know why she hasn’t been going. I’m cautiously optimistic about these developments. Anyway, it was wonderful to have the old Aunt Sue back and share those special moments with her today. I hope that continues.


Dear Aunt Sue,

YoL-7It was so good to talk to you today. You sounded so good. I’m happy that you are getting out of your apartment more, eating in the dining room and meeting others. Getting out and being more active will surely help you feel better.

Ryan and I are planning to come down to TN the last weekend in February – we’re both looking forward to it!

I’ll call you this weekend.

Love you,
YKW [My Aunt Sue used to always sign her letters to me “YKW” for You Know Who]

Day 10: Aunt Sue

Teaism, Dupont Circle

Teaism, Dupont Circle

This morning I did some letter-writing over at Teaism in Dupont – I shared this on social media and invited folks to come out and write some letters with me. None of you showed up, but that’s ok. I wrote some letters over a delicious pot of assam tea. If you want to join me on a future date, stay tuned to the Meet Ups section of the blog.

Today’s letter is for my Aunt Sue. She turns 81 on Wednesday.

She is one of five siblings my mother had. Originally from Richlands, VA, she now lives in an assisted living residence in Tennessee. Even though she has her own apartment there, it’s sad as she just doesn’t have the freedom she used to have. She can’t drive, so spontaneous trips to visit friends and family or even just quick jaunts to the grocery store are now distant memories.

day 10 aunt sueI love to see her, although she’s different now. After losing her husband, her only son, two siblings (one of them my mother), her best friend and many others, the quick wit and vibrance the former head of operating room nurse once had is now gone. Her health has diminished as well. “Don’t ever get old,” she tells me every time we speak. “Don’t do it.” She has this birthday card on her fridge that says something like, “The more you bitch and complain about getting old, the longer you live.” She smiles and says, “Isn’t that the truth” every time she reads it.

I love her very much and hope that she is smiling this Wednesday.



day 10 aunt sue-2

Dear Aunt Sue,

My aunt loves Akitas.

My aunt loved Akitas.

Happy birthday! I went out looking for a birthday card for you – but I got to be honest, there was nothing there that I thought you’d like as much as this card with the drawing of this gorgeous Akita. I love you very much and will call you on your birthday!


I sign my letters to my aunt “Y.K.W.” (You Know Who). She would always sign her letters to me that way, so I’ve started signing my letters to her in the same manner.