On Sunday afternoon, my mom tries calling her sister in Jamaica. She doesn’t get through; she gets a strange automated message, saying that calls are somehow “banned” at that number.
A little weirded out, she calls her niece. Same thing.
Now she’s getting a tad concerned. She calls her other niece in the States (the one who recently visited Jamaica) and explains what happened. So her niece calls home and gets through, no problem.
In the phone conversation Mom and I have on Sunday evening, she recalls her American niece calling her back, assuring her that her sister is fine, and explaining that she (Mom’s sister) did try to go visit my great-aunt Milda at the nursing home.
Here’s where things get even weirder.
According to what my cousin says, my aunt arrives at the nursing home, only to be told by staff that Aunt Milda is no longer at the nursing home.
She’s been moved.
We don’t know where she’s been moved to, or when this happened.
So, doesn’t she have any kids? you’re asking. Why don’t you just ask them? And herein lies the beauty (translation: frustration) with extended family. Either you’re close-knit, or you’re not. In this case, it seems to be the latter.
At least one of Milda’s kids lives in Florida. Once upon a time, my uncle used to be fairly close with them, when they first moved to the States and were – legally, physically and figuratively – trying to get settled. But it seems they’ve drifted apart and lost contact with my uncle.
The other daughter we know of, my mom has never met.
But never fear: one of my uncles in Jamaica is on the case. Hopefully we’ll find out soon.
One current hunch is that perhaps she was taken back to the town she was living in previously, before her kids moved her to Montego Bay, and is in a different nursing home. But it’s all theory.
For now, we all have to sit and wait as this (accidental?) game of “keep-away with Aunt Milda” plays out.
Wherever she is, I hope she’s still alive and kicking (or quietly reading her Bible) because, for the amount of effort it’s taken to try and see her, never mind find her, I now reeeally want to meet her.