Wednesday, December 19, 2012
A grand old lady cheered me up whenever I came to see her at her small apartment. I always looked forward to Sunday dinners with her. She was a small frame woman with many years shown on her face.
The last time I hugged her and saw her, she was 94 years old in 1969. She had hearing problems and she had to keep saying "huh" often trying to understand whoever is talking to her. I was young kid growing up with her and she was my grandmother's aunt. Then she was my great-great Aunt Lizzie, but I called her Aunt Lizzie. She was fun and humorous person. We would make faces and gesture as if we know what we are talking about. She would crack me up and I would roll on floor laughing.
She would be smoking Chesterfields and sip some brandy in her living room. I often would sit on floor near her to ask her questions about the old days and how she grew up during hard times. She was a nurse at the old St. Louis City Hospital.
She would write down notes and tell me some interesting stories. I wish I can remember the details. She even told me how she had to ride horses and carriages, do things by hand, work like slave to feed family, etc before we got those modern equipment to take care of stuff. She had to haul big pots from second floor to first floor to outside back where outhouse was.
She would make some wisecracks with anyone in her apartment. I would never forget how she lectured my grandmother's brother and I was fascinated about how she felt about his leaving home and not visiting her for more than 50 years. I was standing with my mouth open...they had not seen each other for more than 50 years. I was curious as to why it happened...Lizzie said it was between him and her. I respected that.
At her funeral, I looked at her and she looked at peace. I was teasing her one time that she could be 100 and I would catch up with her. She laughed and told me how she felt being that old. She missed her family, relatives and many friends. She felt alone and she simply wanted to go home to those people she missed in her long life.
Just before her casket was lowered into the grave, I took the cross off ( a tradition with funerals ) and hang it on my wall. It is still hanging for the last 43 years.
I miss you, Aunt Lizzie! You have a special place in my heart all these years and I remember the fun times.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!