Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Uncles/Aunts (04/17/08)
TITLE: Titi Aidy
By Leticia Caroccio
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“BOOM, BOOM, BOOM”, was all we heard before we ran toward the stairs. Sitting on the bottom step was Titi Aidy (Titi means aunt in Spanish). There she was laughing and crying at the same time. We didn’t know what to do. So we just stared. As she slowly rose to her feet, now only laughing, we began to laugh along with her. “Are you ok?” we asked. She said she was fine and began to walk into the living room and sat on the corduroy couch and put her feet up on the ottoman. I came in and sat next to her. I always wanted to sit next to her, always wanted to be near her. I just didn’t want to miss anything she would say or do.
Besides my mom, she was my favorite person in this world. Although much older than me, I considered her my best friend. I grew up in the Bronx, New York and she lived out in the Island – Long Island. I used to spend my entire summer with her. She is the one who taught me how to whistle, how to blow my first bubble with gum. She bought me my first bra. Titi Aidy was cool, even though I was surrounded by many cool “cats” in the Bronx. She was always up on the latest fashions, always had her hair and nails done just so. She used to take me to Sunday School. She taught me about Jesus.
As I sat next to her I remained quiet but I kept sneaking peeks at her. She had her feet up and her hands were folded behind her head. She had her eyes closed. “Why are you looking at me?” she said. I took a deep breath and didn’t say anything. She was silent for a moment before she spoke again. “What are you afraid of?” she asked me. My eyes began to water and I didn’t know why. Still I didn’t say anything. She opened her eyes and turned to face me. Her face was so soft. She had the most beautiful chestnut brown eyes with long lashes that swept her cheek when she blinked. Her lips were closed but were sweetly smiling at me. She began to laugh, soft and low at first. Then she burst into gleeful giggles. She put her hand on my head and messed up my hair. She used my head for support as she stood to her feet and said, “Let’s dance”.
She started dancing, slow and graceful at first, then fast and jerky, like a chicken running from a farmer with a cleaver in his hands. Even though I still had tears in my eyes, I danced. I was confused but didn’t know what to say, didn’t know what to ask. So I did as she did. I danced.
It was getting late and I began getting ready for bed. As I lay in bed I looked out the window into the night sky and prayed for her. I always prayed for her but this time I had no words, just deep sighs. I knew something was wrong but couldn’t put my finger on it. I lay back on my pillow and fell asleep.
A year later, Titi Aidy was diagnosed with ALS and died three short months after the official diagnosis. The fall down the stairs was the first of many unexplained falls my aunt took. Slowly but aggressively, the deadly disease took Titi from us. Her muscles began to constrict until she couldn’t walk. Then she couldn’t hold up her own head. Her speech began to slur until she couldn’t speak at all. She could no longer smile. But her beautiful eyes, they still danced.
I spent her last night by her bedside. Her family was there with her, too. She was not conscious but I know she could hear. We spoke words of love to her, sang her favorite God songs into her ear as we ushered out of this world and into the loving arms of her Lord.
We celebrated this wonderful lady at the most amazing memorial service ever given. We laughed and cried as we told of her awesome ways. We sang her favorite songs and talked about her quirky ways. But most of all, we danced. Slow and graceful, at first, then broke off into our version of her crazy, jerky chicken dance. Oh, how we danced.
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