Mundane Doesn't Describe It

For the slackatudinally challenged.

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I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting. Mark Twain, Hard work doesn't harm anyone, but I do not want to take any chances. - Unknown, I am retired and have tried to do as little as possible - slowly. Me.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Great Aunt Sally and the Baby

Every family has their eccentric relatives, and we had Aunt Sally. I never knew her, but there are many stories about her. She was the wife of my Great Grandfather’s half brother. Confused yet? Her husband and her never had children and after her husband died she had no place to go. Back in those days it was a very common practice to have relatives who couldn’t take care of themselves living with you, so my Grandparents bought her to live with them. Plus that’s the way my Grandparents were.

Aunt Sally was very eccentric as eccentric goes. Fmom says she constantly talked to herself and to other people who weren’t there. From what I can understand my Grandmother wasn’t the happiest she was there, because Aunt Sally constantly criticized everything she did. But as with my family we take it with a grain of salt and go on. Except for one time.

My oldest sister was still a baby and my mother was living with her, my three aunts, Aunt Sally and my Grandparents. My Dad was off at WWII. One day my Grandmother over heard Aunt Sally talking to herself saying that they weren’t taking good care of that baby and she was going to take it and go away. Knowing Aunt Sally my Grandmother didn’t know if she was just talking or would do it. So she put her foot down and let it be known that the baby was not to be left alone with Aunt Sally at anytime. One day while my Aunts were babysitting they were doing things around the house and my sister was in her crib. My Aunt K came back to check on her and she was gone. My Grandparents and Fmom were off visiting some relatives and my Aunt calls them. Now my Grandmother was never the best driver, but Fmom said she made record time and came close to giving my Grandfather a heart attack.

Well it ends up Aunt Sally did have my sister and of all the places they failed to look was the barn. They found Aunt Sally holding my sister singing to her. Fmom said she and my Grandmother was beyond worry when they were found. Fmom said she was almost hysterical, but my Grandmother being the person she was didn’t scold Aunt Sally. Fmom said she took the baby from Aunt Sally and said “Come on back to the house Sally.”

Fmom said she remembers the event like it was yesterday. She said she also remembers after that Aunt Sally never tried to take the baby again. She said they kept a watch on my sister up till the day Aunt Sally died, but Aunt Sally seemed content with others taking care of the baby. I think in that moment that they were found, a moment of clarity came to Aunt Sally and she saw what she did was wrong and how worried everyone was. I think that moment stuck with her and that’s the reason she never tried to take the baby again.

Although this story is about Aunt Sally, it’s also about my Grandmother and my family. My Grandmother, Fmom and the rest of the family could have been angry with Aunt Sally, but she and they weren’t. Aunt Sally was family and eccentric and she needed to be taken care of. I’ve talked about traditions a good deal before, but I think my family handed down to me the tradition of caring. Just as I now take care of Fmom, I think the rest of the family would be doing the same if I wasn’t here. I see so many old people being cast aside, and I know I couldn’t stand to see that happen with Fmom, just as my grandparents couldn't stand to see that happen to Aunt Sally.

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