On The Blackwater

Musing on retirement, writing, puppies, and whatever else strikes my fancy

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Spending my life in 20-year increments: DC, Calif, Maine, & now in the BlueRidge Mountains of VA, where my YoChon, Sadie Mae, has started to blog...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Aunt Jimmie

Aunt Jimmie was so dear to me as I was growing up. She had married my Uncle Wallie, who worked for the Red Cross and was a lifeguard at the beach during the summer.

They would drive over and pick me up, and take me to their apartment where Jimmie would bake chocolate chip cookies and fry chicken for the next day. When we got to the beach, Wallie would climb up into the lifeguard's chair and Jimmie and I would lie on big towels and talk and talk. They had no children, so I had Jimmie's full attention. I could talk about boys, about classes I was taking or not taking, about colleges I was interested in.

Jimmie convinced me to take typing and shorthand (this was the 50's) as a backup plan after high school. She was exactly right; those skills got me excellent employment, including working for a guided missile research firm in DC. My Dad was shocked to find out my salary was higher than his as an engineer for DC government. He got over his shock and moved on to bragging about his daughter. I had a wonderful loving Dad.

When Jimmie retired to Florida after Wallie's death from a heart attack, we talked mostly by phone, but I did visit her. One visit included my husband and also one of my sons. She was excited to meet them and so welcoming. We went to a neighborhood restaurant and ate 'sky-high pie' that was their specialty.

Now, I'm trying to find Aunt Jimmie. I called her Florida nursing home but all they could tell me was that she'd been transferred to a skilled care facility. Information had no phone number, no listing at all for the scf, so today I wrote a letter to the nursing home, asking them to help me find her. If she is still living, she will be 90 this coming February. The last time I spoke with her, she was very vague and confused, so I suspect she may have passed on. She no longer had any family in Florida.

She isn't truly gone; she lives on in my heart and always will.

But she will never leave my heart.


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