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 ❤️❤️🎂🎂