.Just before we left and during our trip my aunt was embarking on quite a different kind of journey. I was very hesitant to mention it here, it was her journey and her path, and she was writing about it herself (until she could not log in anymore at least).
She gave her family and friends assignments, and I thought mine had been to help figure out what her original pathology report meant. However, her surgery was scheduled while we were gone so I could not even add hand holder to the list. Which was frankly very sad for me as one thing I was very grateful to her for doing was sitting in emergency room cubicles with me during my pregnancy. It is nice to have someone there, even if there is nothing you can do. So, we flew overseas and I had plenty of time to think about what must be happening to her and my family while I was away. It was a rather helpless feeling.
So, I lit candles for her in churches I managed to visit. I lit a candle for her right after Squink was baptized at using his baptismal candle to light it. Squink was with me and we lit the little candle and Squink blew it out, repeatedly. I was a little bewildered about what to make of him blowing out a candle that you are supposed to let burn, but as I watched the smoke drift I decided it was a bit like a smoke signal and that the thoughts concealed in the lighting were being sent to her. I then managed to light a candle in Saint Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, then one in Saint Stephen's Basilica as well as a donation at The Coronation Church of Our Lady in Budapest (the latter being my most favorite church in all of Europe).
It felt like nothing, at the time and frankly as much for me and my inability to be there as much as I did it for my aunt.
This weekend, my aunt had a party to celebrate her friends who had assignments during the surgical part of this process. When I got there, I was told t put on a name tag with my job... and I was getting ready to write "researcher" when she said I was the candle lighter. I was stunned... so simple an act was what received her notice. Though, frankly, it makes the most sense knowing the woman she is.
The party was fun, and it is oh so different to celebrate something like breast cancer though it was not the cancer we celebrated but rather its absence.
So, I though I would post, with her permission, some photos from the event. Below is her "chandelier", it may be a bit bawdy to some, so if you are intrigued click through to the original size image to "get it"
Here she is with her "special cake", we all got to try a piece... it was fabulous.