Miserable Aunt, My Favorite Aunt
My marriage wasn’t much of one. It felt more like a partnership than a marriage. I was on the road a lot to make ends meet and my wife was working part time, being homemaker and raising our daughter. Needless to say, we both were pretty miserable without being able to spend much time together.
Then the unthinkable happened. While traveling through Kansas toward a South Carolina destination, I got a call from my sister that no sister should have to make. My wife and daughter perished in a car wreck caused by a drunk driver. I thought I was living a lonely life before but now….well, it got worse. When I would go back to the house, it felt empty, dead and hard to stay. So I kept a few mementos’, cleaned up the place and sold it.
That was almost a year ago. In all honesty, the first holidays you observe are the toughest. They bring back the fact they’re not there to enjoy those good times with you anymore and then the pain reins you in to a near catatonic state. In addition, dealing with the death of my last living grandparent a few weeks ago isn’t as bad as it wasn’t a shock. She was ill for a long time and it was more of a relief than anything else that she was no longer suffering. I was in North Dakota when my Aunt Jean called to let me know Grandma passed on. I wasn’t able to make the funeral and scheduled time off to spend with Aunt Jean as soon as I could.
Aunt Jean had always been my favorite. She always seemed bubbly and happy. I had a crush on her for the longest time. She was only five feet tall, very dark brown hair that she always kept midway down her back but recently cut it to shoulder length. Though petite, she sported a nice figure on the order of a 35C-24-35 and might have weighed all of 100 pounds soaking wet. That was my memory of her when I was much younger. The few times I had visited, she always looked great and we always had fun driving around in her Porsche 914! My Dad was the oldest and she was the baby of the family and we were only fourteen years apart in age. Now at 46, alone and driving a truck, I couldn’t wait to get off the road and visit Aunt Jean at her new place she built and talk about good times we had at Grandma’s old house.
When I drove up into the driveway, my Aunt came running out to meet me, ecstatic that I could make it. As soon as we embraced, she broke down into sobs thanking me for coming. Grandpa and all three of her siblings were gone and she felt so alone having to take care of Grandma before she passed away. After several minutes of hugging and comforting each other, we went inside her house to talk about how things are going. She fixed us some coffee and we talked about all the stuff that was to be shipped to living relatives based on the Will. We talked for hours with good memories and bad coming back to us about Grandma. Before we knew it, it had grown dark outside and neither of us had supper.
“Would you want Italian or Mexican tonight?” She asked in her soothing southern accent.
“Italian. I don’t think my stomach will handle that kind of spice tonight.” I replied.
“Get your boots on and let’s go then! I’ll be just a couple of minutes.” She said cheerily. “Let’s take your Jeep. I haven’t had a ride in one of those yet.” With that, she winked and went upstairs to her bedroom to change.
I went to my room and changed into an upper-casual set of clothes. Kaki brown trousers, dark green button-down front dress shirt and black dress cowboy boots. After brushing my hair I waited in the foyer for her to return. A few minutes later I heard her close her door and start descending the stairs when I looked up. The room seemed to light up and my eyes widened as she took each step in an elegant and very feminine decent down a staircase. She was wearing a white casual dress with a black belt and black three inch spike high heeled shoes. The dress extended to just below the knee and sported a shoulder baring ruffle which hid sleeve loops to prevent them from sliding up onto her shoulders. She had her hair down but was adorned with a white hair band like those from the sixties, over the top of her head. Coupled with her amazing green eyes she looked to be in her mid-thirties. The look was classic demure elegance. When she reached the bottom of the stairs, she looked straight at me and smiled knowingly. She knew she had that effect on men. She came up to me and with a slender finger, gently lifted my chin to close my mouth. I swallowed a hard dry lump. She looked fantastic and I then remembered why I had such a crush on her waaaaay back when. Apparently, I still had one.