Keeping The Stories Alive

My Aunt Priscilla died almost 20 years ago. She had a vibrance that captured anyone within her radius. Her middle name was Apollonia, but let’s just keep that among us, shall we?

To me, she was always fearless, or appeared to be, and I told her. She assured me she wasn’t. An example she shared was how the bedrooms and bathroom were divided by a parlor. No biggie, right? Wrong. The parlor was used for viewings and wakes when relatives died. She recounted how one night, when she was a toddler, she had to pee. The idea of walking past the corpse terrified her so much that she contemplated wetting the bed. She decided against it, and crept past the body.

Her family expected her to become a nun. She tried, but convent life wasn’t for her. Instead, she moved to New York City, much to the chagrin of her parents. There she met the love of her life and married him. His occupation was Director to President Roosevelt and later Truman, during World War Ii. Of course, he couldn’t tell her much, but did hint that the war would be over, days before the bombing of Hiroshima.

After her husband died, she was fortunate that she didn’t have to work. Being restless, she travelled and eventually moved back to New York City. She later moved to Michigan to be with family.

She kept her spirit even as she grew older. At a family function, an in-law made a crude comment about his wife. Auntie calmly walked over to him and proceeded to dump an entire cup of champagne on his head. He had thick curly hair and no way to remove the sticky substance. Being stubborn, he remained at the function while flies landed on his head. Ew.

As she further aged, she kept her physical health, mental faculties, and independence. She did lose some of her reflexes. Riding in a car while she drove was usually an adventure. My sister and I often suppressed nervous laughter and hoped we made it to our destination alive.

Despite her life of comfort, she reminded us that we all put our pants and pantyhose on one leg at a time, and when we died our bodies returned to earth or ash, whether we were rich or poor.

When Aunt Priscilla died, her viewing was in a regular funeral home. I laughed and thought about how thankful she would be as a toddler, not having to creep past her own body in the middle of the night to pee.

That’s just a sample of the kind of person my Aunt Priscilla was and I plan on keeping her story alive as long as I can.

If you have an anecdote to share about a relative, please do so in the comments, or contact us for your own submission. We would love to hear you stories.

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32 thoughts on “Keeping The Stories Alive

  1. Have you posted about Aunt Priscilla before? I seem to remember something. That is a great memorial, she sounds like a fascinating lady – hope you continue spinning stories about her life. For lowly fiction writers such as myself, it’s amazing to see how the lives of real people are much richer and more full than any characters you can conceive.

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    • Thank you, Trent. Most likely I did put her in a post. I intended to write about my uncle, who passed away a couple of weeks ago. He was a character as well, with his own story. Still too raw.

      Bite your tongue! Your stories take my breath away. How you create such human characters that seem so real, blows my mind.

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      • I think people, real people, are so much more interesting, though. I think the characters are pale reflections of who we see everyday, who we remember after they’re gone, who we interact with and what we want them to be. I think we live in a real fantasy of people, and our stories are meant to honour them, to try to explain them. And sometimes to merely say that we don’t understand them, or ourselves.

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    • Haha. Thanks for the comment. She said the only thing worse would have been if the names were reversed. I asked her if I could call her Auntie Apollonia. She just gave me a look that said, “try it.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like a “card castle” 🙂 I should have snagged you for a guest post. 😛

    I really love how you told this. She must have been such a remarkable woman. Aunts are usually the most fun in the family.

    Liked by 1 person

      • That’s the beautiful thing about memories. Even though you may not have gotten that chance, you already know the answers to most of those questions because of all the wonderful times you spent together.
        That’s how we live on.
        That’s how we keep the stories alive. 😉

        We may pass on but our stories will not die.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I liked your story. I remember a lot of creepy things in my childhood and i am sure my Aunt’s recent passings were similar to your Aunt’s. My dad’s sisters were and are extremely stubborn and superstitious. Out of the 9 siblings only two remain–both girls.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you :o). She was my grandpa’s sister, so a great aunt. She laughingly told us that one of my cousins asked “what’s so great about her?”, when told she was a great aunt.

      My dad was one of 12 siblings and now only four remain. Three girls and one guy. The aunts live together and their personalities are so different, we wonder how they make it work…but they do.

      We would love to hear more, if you are willing to share.

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