Have you ever loved someone so much that you literally have felt the pain of losing them to your very core, even 22 years after they are gone, it's still as fresh as if it were yesterday. I don't really know what made me think of my aunt and uncle (who were more like my grandparents) and my grandmother today, but something brought them to memory (My grandmother and aunt were sisters and always lived near each other until they were older and then they lived next door and then together in the later years).
Could it have been that the thought that July brought back memories of sitting on their porch late in the evening with them, watching the fire flies and eating water melon that yes was grown in their garden, dripping with juice running down your face, laughing, and not having a care in the world. Or could it have been baking pies and cakes that only my aunt could have taught me to do brought back memories as I made cakes for my family this past July 4th. Even my grandmother's not so perfect chocolate pie that only she could make from scratch came to mind.
There's my uncle in his younger years sitting on the ground eating water melon. My aunt is facing toward the camera. This would have to have sometime between the 1920's-30's.
Or was it the last Christmas holiday we all spent together, so many years ago, when we all gathered at my aunt's house to celebrate was just a distant memory? It's been so many years since we've gathered there. The smells of turkey, cornbread dressing, freshly baked pies and all the other dishes that she worked so hard to make came to mind. For me, spending Christmas at their house was such joy. I knew in the morning I would awake to a great breakfast and then help them prepare the meal we would all enjoy that evening.
No, it was probably the cucumber, tomatoe and onions soaked in vinegar I made this past 4th for my son, that could have brought my uncle to mind. Remembering him up at the crack of dawn, eating breakfast (eggs over easy please) with freshly made biscuits and sneaking a piece of bacon knowing good and well the doctor told him to lay off pork. He'd motion with his hand, ssshhh, don't tell Sis or she'll get onto me (Sis is what everyone called my aunt). Watching him pour hot coffee into a saucer from his cup and drink his coffee black of course from the saucer. I've never seen anyone drink coffee this way since him. Then out to the garden he would go until my aunt called him in for lunch. He'd come in so hot from the heat but it didn't ever seem to bother him. My youngest son is named after him and as I watch him I can see some of the same mannerisms in him that my uncle had. I know he is named appropriately.
Or maybe it was the thought of late in the evening sitting with them eating frozen pizza and watching Gunsmoke or Hee Haw (do you even remember these shows on TV). Drinking cokes only on Sundays before church was a luxury. We never got to drink cokes during the week and from a glass bottle at that. It was so good or so it seemed then.
Watching them love my boys like they were their own grandkids was such a real treat. These memories can never be replaced!! Thank you for all the life lessons you taught me. For all the good times and laughs we had. For taking me fishing, having picnics with the best tuna fish sandwiches ever (wrapped in wax paper of course) and oh the homemade tea cakes (for those that have never heard of this, it's an old fashioned southern cookie, sort of like a sugar cookie), lemonaide and sweet tea was so good.
Planting marigolds with my aunt was always so much fun. Spending time at my grandmother's house next door, sitting on her back porch to see if any snakes were in site before I climbed the tree was like an adventure. Picking blue bell flowers (which are in season now) and then putting them in a vase to sit on the table, they always seemed to brighten the mood. I miss you Sis, Uncle Reub (short for Reuben) and Mamaw so much.
My aunt and grandmother were somewhere amongst the group of kids at the Old School House-San Jacinto School, in the community where I grew up at called West Sandy (Walker Co. Tx.). You can read more about this community here. I could not locate a clear picture of my grandmother, but I hope to get a better one before my next post.