Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Beth, Anna and Betsy and all this blogging community for the Tuesday Slice of Life! Looking forward to the SOLSC, and this time with my class! If you'd like to connect, I would, too! My colleague Max is also slicing with his class, for the second year!
|Aunt Carol and Aunt Barb-my mother's sisters|
Sometimes slices of life are moments to mark for sad reasons. I received a call last night from my brother, telling me that my dear Aunt Barb, in a nursing home for a few years with Alzeimer's, was dying. A few hours later, she left us. All those stories and memories still are here with me, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and the rest of my family, especially cousins. I wrote about her a few years ago and am going to repeat those words here. She was a most special aunt, the last of five siblings to go, my mother's sister. Everyone needs an Aunt Barb.
I am the oldest cousin in a rather large family, and often spent weeks in the summer with various grandparents, aunts and uncles. One of those aunts was my Aunt Barb, who married a farmer, and when I was young, lived in two rooms on the second floor of her in-laws’ house. During that time, there was no bathroom, only an outhouse, no running water, and she was raising three young girls in those rooms. As I reflect on this part of her life, I am astounded that she let me visit for at least a week at a time, and we had such fun.
I had always had in-house plumbing in my own home, and enjoyed my own bedroom, but I don’t remember being crowded at Aunt Barb's, or missing a bathroom. What I do remember is swimming in her pond, picnics down by the creek ending with servings of her yummy chocolate cake, and reading stories at night before bedtime. She was a dramatic reader, and I loved hearing her read from the books available. Taking care of her chores, both inside and outside, along with mothering her children that included sewing all their clothes, and cooking amazingly wonderful meals can’t have been accomplished easily in the circumstances, yet she made me know that I was a loved niece and welcome always in her home. As a housewife who has griped about unloading the dishwasher, I wonder about her resilience, and about mine. How did she accomplish so much with so little? It’s a reflection to ponder. I am blessed to have had my Aunt Barb in my life.