Tuesday, April 27, 2010

And Then There Were None...

In loving memory of my Aunt Thelma
Thelma Lucille (Fulkerson) Liddell

She is the end of an era...
the last living sibling of my mother's,
taking away that generation.

Aunt Thelma & her sisters & sister-in-law

sister Hazel, Thelma with daughter Hazel Dean,

sister Paulene, sister-in-law Mary Ruth

& baby sister Darlene (my mother)

Thelma was the first born of my Grandma & Grandpa Fulkerson's,
probably on the old home place near Hallsville, Missouri.

R.T., Thelma & daughter Dean
with silly brother Jim peaking around the corner

When my mother was 7 years old, Thelma & R. T. Liddell married.
Most of Mom's childhood memories were with Thelma being a married lady.

The Liddell's
R.T. & Thelma
with children, Hazel Dean & Russell
Thelma on Mom's patio

I'm not sure I had a favorite aunt...it just depended on which one I was with at the moment, as I loved them all.
I thought she was the most gracious lady & she always held a special place in my heart.
We were always so excited when we found out we were going to Omaha for a visit.
It was always fun to stay with Uncle R.T. & Aunt Thelma!

Thelma had a way of getting tickled & I remember her laughing a lot.
She kept a beautiful home & loved her flowers.
Perhaps that is where I got a little bit of the gardening fever.
I remember a table full of African violets that she had & they seemed to be in perpetual bloom. I thought they were beautiful. She loved her home & her family & took great pride in both.
Carol & me with Aunt Thelma
The last 28 years of her life were spent without R.T.
She lived alone after his death until she moved to Fremont in assisted living.
Aunt Thelma had Alzheimer's
but it seemed that the stages did not advance on her quickly
& she lived several years functioning quite well
& recognized her loved ones until not long ago.
These pictures are from the last time I saw her.
I was so surprised & thrilled when she looked up at me & said "well Sheila!".
I was so pleased as I knew that for at least a fleeting moment, she knew who I was.

Carol, Luana & I had a sweet visit with her that day.
But she brought tears to my eyes, when in her confusion she asked about Mom & Dad, & when I didn't answer her directly, she sadly said "Am I the only one left?".
We changed the subject & the sad thoughts seemed to go away.

Cousin Luana & me with Aunt Thelma

Longevity seemed to be in her bones & she lived a good life,

living until she was 97 1/2 years old!

Aunt Thelma & Mom
at her 90th birthday party

Aunt Thelma & her family
Evie & Russ
Dean & Sid

Aunt Thelma in her home in Omaha

with her siblings
Jim, Darlene (Mom) Thelma & Millard
The Fulkerson kids

Just the name of Aunt Thelma brings back a rush of childhood memories for me.
We lived in the small hometown where all of the Fulkerson kids were raised
and that is where they would return for summer vacations, holidays, & hunting & fishing trips.
It would be an exciting time when the Liddell's were coming home!
I remember the sisters gathering in Grandma's kitchen, cooking up a storm, preparing a meal for all of the family. In the fall the men would go pheasant or quail hunting while the women stayed at home, content just to visit with each other.

Aunt Thelma was my last living aunt-or uncle-on either side of the family.
It is a sobering thought to realize that our parents generation is now gone...
& we are the ones that remain...
the ones to carry on family traditions, to try to keep the family connected.
Thankfully, the cousins have been close & even though we are somewhat scattered apart,
we plan on keeping the family together.

She was a beautiful, sweet lady, & I loved my Aunt Thelma very much.
I was so disappointed that I wasn't able to attend her Memorial Service.
But I know she would understand & in my heart I said my "goodbye" to her on that last visit, just a few years ago.


Karen Walden said...

Sweet post! I had to smile when thinking about her getting onto you and Luana for watching something on TV and you were married ladies! Am I correct?? :)

Sheila said...

Oh yes...she didn't think we should be up late watching Johnny Carson! I think she thought we were still about 12. :)

Carol said...

Thanks for the sweet post, Sister Blister! I have so many good memories with Aunt Thelma! Thanks for sharing this with the rest of the world. Sorry you couldn't make it to the funeral, but everyone understood.