Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sweet Aunt Mary

The "aunts" in Bob's family have always
been a special part of our lives.
And now that my aunts & uncles are gone,
these sweet ladies mean more to me than ever.
There are only two surviving
and today was Aunt Mary's birthday.

Her sister's always called her "Mary Jo".
She was born Mary Josephine,
down in the hills of southern Indiana.
Like my mother-in-law,
her sister Bonnie,
she too has Alzheimer's.
The Colbert Family
Levi, Amelia, John
Bonnie, Bernice, Donna & Mary 

They were a close knit family,
always remembering each other's birthdays,
celebrating holidays together,
finding any kind of excuse to see each other.

Mary was a farmer's wife.
She had the duty of preparing a full noontime meal
for the farm workers every weekday.  
Some days would even find her helping in the fields.
Her home and family were her world
and she saw that both were well taken care of.
She was a wonderful cook, a gardener, a talented seamstress,
& she was devoted to her church.

  Ralph & Mary had one daughter, Brenda Gayle
and she was the joy of their life.
And what no parent should ever have to face,
they lost their Brenda a few years ago.

 on their 60th wedding anniversary

Life's journey has brought them to our home town.
Within the last two weeks, for health reasons,
they have had to make some major changes
in their lifestyle, at least temporarily.
Ralph fell, broke his hip, had surgery & is having
to go through rehabilitation.
Mary cannot live alone.

   on their 70th anniversary

I've watched them in the last two weeks.
Their love for each other is still evident
after more than 70 years together.
I'm not sure one could survive without the other.
He mumbles words that I can't understand
and she repeats what she thinks he said
and is usually right!

Sweet Aunt Mary

This is Aunt Mary's 90th birthday.
I went to see her & in her state of mind,
she didn't realize what day it was.
We visited for quite a while,
she asking me about things in her past
that I didn't know.
She told me things about the family that I did know...
that her mother was German-
her father was French-
she was the oldest child-
Donna the youngest-
 that she married Ralph when she was 18-
she almost died when Brenda was born-
she knew her Brenda was gone-
and she was the wife of a farmer.

And now she sits in a wheelchair,
close to the beside of her Ralph,
encouraging him to get up & move around,
content to just be there with him.
They think that they will be going back home soon,
as soon as Ralph can get his strength back.
And they are beginning to realize that they can no longer
do it alone.

Ninety years.
Aunt Mary told me that they go by so quickly...
and for me to be sure to enjoy my family while I'm young.
It's only 28 years away!


Carol said...

Happy birthday, Mary Josephine! What a sweet post to such an adorable little lady. Glad you got to spend time with her on her birthday.

Karen Walden said...

So glad you went to see Mary today and wish her a Happy Birthday! She is still a very pretty little lady! I hope Jonathan and I are still around and that "in love" when we are 90! :)