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Where do I start…. this is my first post in a bit due to some personal issues including a surgery, some legal and of course the death of my Great Aunt. She really was GREAT!
Here is my 4th post out of 5 (see the list) that I have chosen to write. I hope you enjoy it and perhaps it will inspire you to interview someone you admire.
Where Am I At A Day in My Life MY 5 Favorite Things To Do An Interview of Someone I Admire Music Playlist Post
An aunt is the sister of one’s father or mother or the wife of one’s uncle. A great-aunt is the aunt of one’s father or mother. A grand-aunt is the sister of one of your grandparents; “Grand” shows that it is one generation away and “great” is supposed to be added to generations beyond “grand”. But many terms and words get changed or interchangeable over time and although the proper term may be “grand-aunt” perhaps your like me and may have grown up using “great-aunt”.
The most inspirational person that I have had the privilege of knowing was my Great-Aunt Isabel. (She was definitely grand too.) She was my Grandma’s sister-in-law and even after her divorce she remained one of the most important people in our family.
Now, I wanted to interview her again… you see I did over 13 years ago for an assignment in my adult studies of the elderly. Unfortunately that was 2 computers ago and when my kids were little. My plan was to pull up that file on USB and interview Isabel again. I have checked all the old files on USB’s and I have gone through my paper files too, but I haven’t been able to find my original interview. I had talked to her about doing this and she … well was flattered but kept asking me why I would want to interview her? That was Aunt Isabel, always thinking that her life wasn’t that interesting.
My interview never happened. Aunt Isabel passed away in the hospital on June 17th, 2019. I find it hard to even type this right now. I don’t feel like I had the chance to say goodbye. Aunt Isabel left instructions with her grown kids that she didn’t want a funeral held on her behalf. Knowing her, she did this because she didn’t want to burden her kids with the arrangements or the financial burden. A simple cremation was done and she was laid to rest along side her children’s father, her husband.
I can’t interview her but I can share with you some of her awesomeness. Aunt Isabel never missed a birthday. I always got a pretty floral or animal card with a hand written note inside it. It was always on pretty stationary until lately but than she wrote on the inside of the card. We always had wonderful talks about the past, present and future. She always asked about my cat (s), dog by name, and about the farm animals. She loved animals especially cats. No matter how she felt she was always able to make others (me) feel better and empower you into believing that you or I actually have it all together.
You can do it!
You are strong!
You always know, so trust your gut!
I don’t know how you do everything you do, but I know you will always succeed at it!
Oh, your mom would be so proud of you! (always made me emotional..even now)Isabel Prosser
Don’t get me wrong she didn’t see everything through rose coloured glasses. A few times during our conversations she would just blurt out “Ooooo, that makes me OO…. so mad that I want to slap them…. when….. do or say things like that” Oh I know I heard Aunt Isabel swear…but other than bloody- hell; I can’t think of what she actually said. I do remember the first time I was so shocked that I laughed out loud. This only made Aunt Isabel angrier, in fact she went on a bit of a vent on what she would say to them… Oh, I am going to really miss her, I already do.
She was very honest, but she would also keep her emotions all together mostly when she had to deal with people she was mad at or didn’t like. I often felt that she was a best friend, a cool grandparent, and of course like a mother.
She loved the Blue Jays (like me) but she took the time every year to “get to know” the players on the team and how good they were. She loved flowers, gardening (when younger), she loved animals, reading, game shows, baking, and cooking.
I don’t think she was afraid of anything. She lived a hard life when young. She once told me that her mom and her had their issues and that she spent a lot of her summers at her grandparents farm in Erin. She talked about how her grandfather remarried and his wife had other kids including one that was older than her but in the wrong generation. She remembers playing with lots of kids, animals and working on the farm and of course walking to church in Hillsburgh every Sunday. After I moved to Erin her memories of her happy summers came back. I was able to find her grandparents farm from her description. The farm is still owned by a descendant of her grandfather’s wife. She was able to visit it and the current tenant allowed her to enter it and walk around the house’s main floor. She found her initials carved into the banister post!
Just the thought that Aunt Isabel was a child in the 30’s is amazing to me. My mind pictures her as a mix of a pioneer and a kind of Anne of Green Gables. She married my Grandmother’s brother, Fletcher. She endured a lot of hardship during her marriage. Aunt Isabel told me he drank a lot and she left to raise her 3 kids on her own. She stayed part of our family. She worked many years at Bell Canada. She worked the switch board, yes the old fashioned one. Where the pretty lady wears a head set and answers each call and then connects you to your party. She saw a lot of change just in her career at Bell Canada. She told me that it was a very fun place to work in the beginning and very people friendly. That changed over the years as they became more focused on making money rather than helping people communicate with others. She left Bell Canada in the 80’s, I believe.
I remember her always living in an apartment building. She loved going down to Florida to watch spring training for the Blue Jays with her daughter. Later in life she acquired an apartment in the west end of Toronto with her son and one of her daughters. She took care for them through their surgeries, ups and downs; I often thought this kept her young and able. I don’t remember her ever driving, but than she lived in Toronto where she could take a bus almost anywhere.
Our family had two traditional get-together’s a year, one the Sunday before Christmas (to exchange the gifts for kids) and a golf tournament every summer that my mom started the year before she took ill. The golf one had trophies and prizes. Both were pot luck and would be held at a different house each time. Aunt Isabel was always guaranteed to bring deserts and a salad (when younger). Her lemon meringue pie was the best and I always like the mini raisins in her butter tarts! (turned out to be currents)
Three years ago my grand daughter “A” was born and she was given Isabel as her middle name. Aunt Isabel was so happy and emotional when I told her my son wanted to use her name. The featured picture of this post is of the two of them on Mother’s Day 2016.
I wish I was able to ask her all the questions I had in mind. I would be so happy to have another phone conversation with her just to hear her voice again.
Rest In Peace Great Aunt Isabel.