Sometime ago I wrote what would turn out to be an item read at my uncle’s funeral. When I wrote it I was hoping to get my Aunt Shirley to read it to my Uncle Donnie. It didn’t happen that way. I felt bad that it was only read at his funeral service. I think everyone affects people in ways that they may never know. I am hoping to let my remaining families know how they affected my life. I have three Aunts and I would like them to know how they affected my life. In my family the Aunts I am thinking of are Aunt Shirley, Aunt Vera and Aunt Maryel. Two of them, in my memory as Aunt Shirley and Aunt Vera. They were referred to as “The girls”. As in going back to South Dakota one of the questions asked was “Will the girls be there?” Or when Grandma and Grandpa Moe went South they were always referred to as visiting the girls. As My Grandparents grew older the South Dakota winters got to be too much. They would go visit the girls.
My Mom cared for Foster children. We had gone back to South Dakota one time. My little brother Byron was just at the age when he began to talk. He thought it was fun to ask all the girls for a “Drink Wawa” they would give him a drink. Well the water didn’t agree with him. This was before disposable diapers so Mom was doing laundry every day. Mom had a discussion with one of the family that told Mom she had no business having an other child. Mom told her at unless she was the one paying the bills she had no say in the matter. Aunt Shirley told Mom “If you don’t adopt that little boy than I will!” It shows that her heart was so large it stretch to include everyone that needed her. Mom and Dad did adopt him. But it is one of the things Byron remembers to this day.
Aunt Shirley taught me that blood need not be the only things that brought a family together. When you were in need it didn’t matter if you were family by blood, marriage or just by need. Aunt Shirley was there to give what ever was needed.
Not only were they received with love and open hearts, even when Aunt Shirley’s husband needed around the clock care, she and Aunt Vera made sure their parents got everything they needed. I don’t know how they did all the things that were needed. Aunt Shirley had eight kids Aunt Vera had three.
When it got to the point when Dad needed surgery “The Girls” came to make sure he was OK. It didn’t dawn on me at the time, but having been through it many times. They helped with not only with moral support but with the practical items as well. As we sat in the waiting room, it came to my attention that somewhere in that hospital a surgeon had my fathers heart latterly in his hand. When I mentioned it Aunt Shirley just put her hand on mine and gave it a squeeze. No words just a touch.