Sunday, April 5, 2009

My Auntie Shirley

As I said in my last post, my family has been going through a bit of a chaotic time.  My Auntie Shirley is very sick and has a hospice with her.  Everyone has been visiting her and giving her phone calls.  Despite the sad days that have been happening, she is in great spirits.

As soon as I get on the phone with her, the first thing she says is a joke.  My Auntie Shirley is full of jokes:
-"Why was the little strawberry crying?"
-"I don't know, why?"
-"Because his parents got caught up in a jam!"

Despite the fact that her jokes are rather corny, we laugh anyway.

Then we continue talking about nearly anything.  I ask her about what it has been like to be a single woman her whole life, even through the 1940s and 1950s.
-"To be honest, it was wonderful!  I wasn't like some of my sisters who tied themselves down and started a family early.  I have been free to be exactly who I am.  It wasn't that I didn't want to get married, it is just that I never found the right person and that is okay with me.  It got lonely at times, but look at all the things I was able to do!  I've spent so much time volunteering, which has given me a chance to meet people I never would have met.  I got to dance with Clint Eastwood, who is an amazing dancer and such a gentleman!  I'm truly blessed with such wonderful people in my life, so a husband was never really needed."

We then talked about Octomom...
-"I never thought I'd see the day when a woman could carry eight children!  It is unreal!  I find it very sad that she can't take care of her children, but she has had these children so it is time for society to step up and help her.  It takes a village to raise a we all better get to work!"

What she has learned in life...
"Do what you love and love what you do.  Life is too short to spend it doing things that you don't enjoy.  You love your genealogy, so stick with it for as long as you love it.  Once you have found your passion, you have to stick with it for as long as it makes you happy.
And help people.  Helping people will make you happy.  It gives you perspective and teaches you about yourself.  I learned so much about who I was and what my country meant to me when I volunteered for the USO and drew pictures of the soldiers.  Seeing the looks on their families faces was all the motivation and payment I needed.  And helping people doesn't have to be something big, it just has to be something."

She is such a wonderful woman and has given me so many priceless memories.  She is bright, funny, and such a giving person.  She is brave and kind.  Everyone is blessed to have her in our lives!


Janet Iles said...

Elyse, I am so glad that you are asking your aunt Shirley these questions about her life. She sounds like she is a very special and wise person. It must be difficult for you knowing how sick she is. Thank you for sharing some of her memories with your readers.

My thoughts are with you and your family.

Greta Koehl said...

What a lovely personality your Aunt Shirley has - and it shines through in your posts about her.