Thursday, August 25, 2011
Goodbye Aunt Dot
I grew up calling her Aunt Dot but her name was Dorothy. She was such a special person in my life. Always has been. Always will be. I don't recall a time when she ever had an unkind word to me. When I was a toddler, Mom and Dad moved from WV to D.C. to live with Mom's brother; my Uncle Jack. Their son, Michael, my cousin, was three months older than me. Eventually my Dad found a job and we moved to an apartment of our own. We lived in D.C. until 1968 when the race riots were going on. We moved to Waldorf not far from where Uncle Jack and Aunt Dot lived. By this time our little family had added another daughter and a son while theirs added two more sons. A daughter didn't arrive until much later. Michael and I attended T.C. Martin elementary together. We were in the same first grade class. Mrs. Hagwood. Aunt Dot made a lot of my clothes. In particular I remember a blue skirt and a plaid wool skirt with attached suspenders. It was scratchy on my legs. The next year we moved to Riverdale so Dad would be closer to his job while they moved to Landover. At that time Uncle Jack was a D.C. cop. Many things happened over the years. They moved to Virginia where I met my first husband who was a friend of my cousin Gary's. He helped on the farm they lived on. I don't remember where Aunt Dot was but that summer that I met him she was gone for a few days. I came down to stay and cook for the family. They really didn't need me because Aunt Dot had taught them to be very self reliant in the kitchen. They were all better cooks than I was but I loved staying with them, loved the farm and had a wonderful time. When Aunt Dot came home she told my mother that I put things away and she couldn't find anything. That was funny! That summer we visited many times and I think I spent a month or two with her. I loved every minute of it. After Ralph and I married and had little Ralph we moved to Staunton. We didn't live there long. Jobs were hard to come by and to keep. While I worked as a temporary secretary my Aunt Dot would keep little Ralph for me. She loved watching him and I remember her saying he was a funny baby. Always talking to himself or doing funny things. After we moved to Pittsburgh, Joe was born. We went back to WV a couple times a year; reunions, weddings or funerals. Always making sure to stop in to see Aunt Dot and Uncle Jack. After Phil and I married we continued going down to visit but not very often did we get to WV the last five or so years. My health was bad with the cancer plus Uncle Jack and Aunt Dot have been in and out of the hospital. My cousin Laura kept in touch with me through Facebook and also texting. She let me know that her Mom wasn't doing good and the doctors told them they had done all they could for Aunt Dot. I prayed to God asking for mercies for Aunt Dot and peace for the children. This morning God answered that prayer by taking Aunt Dot home to heaven to be with her Mother and other members of her family. When I go back home to WV it will be hard to be at the family home without Aunt Dot. She was the best baker I ever knew. Her cakes were amazing. I wish I had learned half the things she tried to teach me. I don't recall her complaining although she could have. I remember hearing her cry out at night from the intense pain in her legs. She suffered with that pain for years and years. I am thankful that God ended her pain and that she's no longer suffering. My heart breaks for her children, my cousins, and her husband, my Uncle. My heart breaks for me because I won't see her until I meet her again in heaven. She was a good one to send cards and always called throughout my illness. If I could take one life lesson I learned from her and that would be to remember the sick and needy. She was a good woman and I wish I was more like her. God bless you, Aunt Dot. I will miss you very much. You are much loved.