It had been years and I’m not talking about two or three. I had not seen Michael since my pre-teens. His Grandmother was my Great Aunt and I got to spend a few weeks each summer with my Great Aunt Nancy.
Besides my Grandmother, Aunt Nancy was the coolest relative I had. She taught me how to play cards, make popcorn balls and this amazing rose mint mold candy. IF anyone knows anything about these awesome creme cheese candy molds, let me know… it’s important! Aunt Nancy lived way up on a hill in Neshannock Township, Pa
I remember we had to go visit Aunt Ruth and I had to be super good and super quiet there. I think and I’m pretty sure Aunt Ruth did not like me. I was very energetic and to get me to sit for any length of time was a task that only Aunt Nancy could handle!
We’d take long walks down the hill and into town and pick up groceries and yes.. folks.. I enjoyed penny candy! The real stuff, not this junk you see now!
Then, every so often when I came to visit, Michael and his family would come to visit. I can’t remember too much of the visiting but I am very sure we had a fun time and got into trouble. Isn’t that what cousins do? I also remember having the biggest crush on his older brother Sam.
I can’t remember the year, but I remember Aunt Nancy got sick and soon she was in a nursing home. I had grown up, but I still remember my Aunt Nancy and talking with her always made my problems seem small. She just had a way to talk you through anythng. I had my daughter by then and I wanted Aunt Nancy to meet her. My family had told me that she probably would not remember me, but I wanted to go anyways.
I remember seeing her and she starred at me, it was a dark blank stare and I awkwardly told her who I was and introduced her to my daughter. I saw a few photo albums on her nightstand and it made me smile. I looked through them and I did find a picture of me. It was nice to be remembered. Looking back at Aunt Nancy, I was sure, Aunt Nancy was no where to be found.
Being the photographer that I am, I brought my camera and I took a picture of my daughter and my Great Aunt.
Later after the picture was developed (yes folks…the film days) I saw something that shook me. I saw the look in my Aunt’s eyes and I knew I KNEW she was still in there, somewhere behind the wall that separates you from them, and in her eyes she said “Please don’t, Please don’t take a picture of me”. You’d have to know me pretty well to understand that this is exactly what I saw and that picture haunted me for a long time. I eventually (long story short) sent it to another relative that I felt needed it more then me. I really would love to have that picture back.
That was the last time I saw my Aunt Nancy alive. I’m glad she did not suffer much and I was so blessed to have an awesome aunt that really did love me. I learned a lot those summers!
Recently on FB I hooked up with my cousin Michael and even more recent I got to talk to him on the phone and catch up with everyone. His mom had found some items that she felt I would love to see and I was so excited to recieve it and I had to share it with you! There was some personal items about my father, and a few pictures I’d seen before. But there it was.. not the picture I lost but a picture of my Aunt and you can even see her personality as she hides behind the shoulder of someone.
It was so good to see her again and to see her in a way I’d always remembered her. Thanks to FB and family and the great hookups going on all over the web.
Oh yea and for some fun…here are some of the pictures sent to me.
Me! I know I know “awwwwww”
I think they call these the awkward years:
and yes this is a senior picture:
and last..some people and my Aunt Nancy, this picture made my day.
Thank you Michael and your mom for thinking of me. I appreciate you all!