Daddy’s youngest sister was born on July 1, 1919. That seems like a really long time ago. They lived about half mile up the road from us and in the summer I would walk to her house almost every day. I walked everywhere back then, not having a car. I cannot remember what happened to my bicycle. It was a gravel road, so maybe it just played out one day.
Aunt Bert’s was my first stop and most days it was on up the hill to Aunt Dee’s, my mother’s sister, and over to Grannie Maggie’s, my mother’s mother and back again, most likely stopping by Grannie Annie’s, my father’s mother. In the country our days consisted of family and visiting.
Aunt Bert collected whiskey bottles. She even had an Elvis bottle, not that I am an Elvis fan…wasn’t then or ever. She had shelves in between the living room and a small in-between room. Aunt Bert did not waste time cleaning. She lived. She always called me half-grown up until I was 16 and then she continued, I think, out of habit. I never quite understood her but she always made me laugh.
She kept scrapbooks…willy nilly newspaper clippings. A wedding announcement by a obiturary. The scrapbooks were delightful. She would make comments beside the notices and sometimes they were hilarious!
Her two children were younger than I, Wilson and Susan. We picked on her son especially when his little sister was born. His sister did not have much hair even at two; Aunt Bert would pull the few strands up to the top of her head and tie a little ribbon on it making her look like a cupid doll…like the ones, we might win at the Fair, if we were lucky. She was really cute. We would tease him and say he would have to take her to school without any hair and he would cry and cry.
It always seemed that Aunt Bert kept secrets…I never felt I had heard the entire truth…but then what is truth? She loved my Dad, warts and all. They said I looked like her and now I think I do.
She died of cancer. The last time I saw her she asked if I had come to see her because she was dying. I said “No. I came because you are sick.” She asked what I had told Daddy that had made him so peaceful surrounding his death so I repeated my story to her. I left her with a ring she had admired…it had a pink stone. She put it on and I think she wore it until she died. I do not know this as fact.
Her son returned it to me the day of her funeral.
I always stop by her grave site when I go chat with my family at their grave sites…my nephew, father, my niece, mother, brother…grandparents, aunts, uncles….they are mostly all there…Not far to walk now.