Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I was listening to Ask You this morning on the car ride to work and it occurred to me that I haven't been giving my aunt Cindy, who also died of Amyloidosis, enough attention. I do mention her a lot, along with my grandmother, in articles for Search for a Cure and other Amyloidosis related events but I never have once thought about writing about her...until now.

Cindy and I weren't as close as my mom and I were, obviously, but she was still a big part of my young life. My sister and I used to spend a lot of time over at her house where next door she owned and ran a carpet retail business with her boyfriend, Danny. We used to play around in the large rolls of carpet in the back of the building, jumping from one to the other while songs like Madonna's "Like a Prayer" played over the sound system. There was a big, puffy white office chair that was fun to spin around in behind her desk. She had three dogs, Bette, Boo and Zach, and they were great to be around. The house was an old, white, Victorian that sat on the banks of the Black River and overlooked the Springfield Plaza. The historic Gear Shapers building sat adjacent to the house and used to develop machinery and airplane parts for World War II. I heard it was actually a bombing target for the Nazis.

But I digress. Cindy was a young, motorcycle-ridin', wild spirit who loved dogs and the camera lens. The youngest of the kids in the family, she remained in the house that she grew up in and seemed to live a free-spirited life. When she got sick with Amyloidosis, she no longer could live on her own and so stayed with us at our house. I was probably 10 and my mom wasn't quite sick yet. I remember we had a big, blue easy chair in the living room where she sat for most of the time, getting weaker and weaker. The Cindy that I grew up to know in the big, white house and carpet business was no longer there. Being so young and seeing the disease for the first time, I think I tended to withdraw a bit from Cindy because it was such a big change and seeing her like that was difficult.

Cindy eventually required the care of a hospital and after a good while of living with us in Chester, she moved out. Not long after, she passed away due to complications of the liver transplant or being so far along that the surgery made no difference.

I haven't really shared much about Cindy until now and I think she deserves more than that. Sure, I wasn't as close with her but she was still family and I wish she was still around to get to know better. I was so young when she died that I never really had a conversation with her.

So with all this said, I'm thinking of writing a song about her. Something simple yet beautiful to express my feelings of a life I never really got to know with her. I'll call it Cindy.

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