Your Chair Awaits You…

I’ve been mulling the latest writing challenge over at The Sandbox Writing Challenge…Week 18…Please Have A Seat for a few days now. My first thought, of course, went to my mother and all the questions I could ask her. But frankly, at this point in my life, she’s not deserving of that chair, or my time. Instead, and maybe because of Calen’s choice of her Wonderful Aunt Frieda, I chose to invite my late Aunt Barbara to the chair.

(Photo via Pinterest)
My Aunt Barbara was one of twelve children and one of my father’s older sisters. I remember as a child, she would always be present at holiday gatherings, but someone always had to go pick her up, and after the festivities, she would have to be driven ‘home’. Aunt Barbara was Special, so she lived in a Special home. My Aunt Barbara was born with an extra chromosome which made her different. Back then, she was called mongoloid. I only knew her as my smiling, happy Aunt. I’m not exactly sure of the whole story as to why she was placed in a home, only that it was felt to be in her best interest, as Nanny had her hands full, and would go on to have more children.

As I got older, my participation in family gatherings were less and less. My last visit with her, was a surprise 50th birthday party for her at my Aunt Doris’s House. It was December, 1982, so the house was festively decorated for Christmas and celebration. When she arrived and walked into the room, her eyes lit up, and there was that amazing smile. She made the rounds, hugging everyone and calling us all by our names. I was newly married and very pregnant then, she patted my belly and said Love You Linda’s Baby ❤️ and then wrapped her arms around my then husband. At 6 foot 4, he was a giant, Aunt Barabra only coming up to his waist…I wish I had a picture.

I never saw her after that, as life got in the way as it sometimes does. She passed away at the age of 58. I didn’t find out till after the fact, so i said my goodbyes in my own way, down by the lake, by the water…….

So, if she was sitting in that chair, I’d let her know she was my hero. Her love of family and innocence, her beautiful smile are missed. She accepted and loved with no false pretenses….there’s a lot she could have taught so many of us. In a day when Special people were looked down on and feared, she was a shining light to many. How awesome she would would think it to see how that fear has changed, How accepted the special needs community has come and grown.

I love you Aunt Barbara. Thank you for all that you taught me. Even though your not physically with us, your in my heart always. I see you in the smiles of children and my heart swells. As you sit in that chair, I’ll bring you your favorite chocolate cake, and sing Happy Birthday,,as today is your Day, December 17 ❤️❤️🎂🎂

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24 thoughts on “Your Chair Awaits You…

  1. I’m still looking for my box of Kleenex. So beautiful. I was especially struck by what you said about how the special needs community is now. That’s such a blessing, isn’t it… We’ve have two Down Syndrome children on my mom’s side of he family. They are living longer now and doing more than people would ever have imagined in times past. Lovely post.

  2. Pingback: The Sandbox Writing Challenge 18 — Please have a seat… | Impromptu Promptlings

  3. Calen, I have the tissue box right over here.
    Linda this is beautiful, and you have a beautiful heart. My best friend’s parents did Foster Care and one child had Down Syndrome. He was only 3 years old at the time, but the happiest, cheeriest baby in the world. They truly are special and add so much brightness to our world. Thank You for sharing this story! XXOO ❤ 🙂

  4. How very special that you chose your Aunt Barbara. You have a soul that reveals the beauty in other people. Tomorrow I am doing a link up on Feminist Friday. I am inviting anyone to post a story about a woman who inspires them. Why don’t you post this very special story. I think a lot of people would re examine their thoughts about special needs family members.

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  6. What a joy it was to read your Sandbox challenge. I know well how loving and endearing special needs people are. I worked in a sheltered workshop, one of my most fulfilling jobs! They teach us so much, as I saw how your Aunt Barbara did for you! I think she was the gem of your family, and I am glad she was in your chair. Happy Birthday to her – belated since you posted this yesterday.

    I love coincidence, too. I had an Aunt Barbara, my mother’s sister-in-law, and yesterday was my Aunt Rosemary’s birthday, my mothers sister. Two dear people were brought back to me today, and I thank you for your choice, and the words you conveyed herein.

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