My aunt, Jeanette Byer joined the Byer family when she married my uncle, Larry Byer. Of course, that was before I was born…just a little over two months before I was born, but before, nevertheless. So, I never knew a time when she was not my aunt. When that happens, you don’t think of them as an aunt by marriage, but simply as an aunt, as if by blood…and that is exactly how I think of her.

Aunt Jeanette is very sweet. She is always very pleasant to be around, and never has a harsh word for anyone. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t love Aunt Jeanette. Aunt Jeanette was my grandparents, George and Harriet Byer’s first daughter-in-law. All the other marriages in the family to that point had brought sons-in-law. It was a new experience for everyone, but it was ok, because Aunt Jeanette had long been a family friend, so adding her now as a daughter-in-law, was fairly comfortable.

These days, with my Uncle Larry living in Heaven, Aunt Jeanette lives alone in an apartment. That hasn’t been too difficult, but her eyesight is failing, and that makes me sad. During her life, she has always had a nice yard, a ceramics hobby room, and of course, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren that she loved and wanted to be able to see and enjoy. I’m sure she misses being able to do those things. Her independence has been compromised, and I really hate that. Nevertheless, Aunt Jeanette is keeping a positive outlook, and a smile on her beautiful face. It seems that there is not much that can really get her down, because a positive outlook is a state of mind, and not a place. Aunt Jeanette has embraced that fact, and she is happier for it.

Aunt Jeanette is really a very strong woman, and that is also in her favor. She has worked hard all her life, helping to take care of the land they had before they moved from Casper to Louisiana when the oil business tanked. That is something that has kept her in good shape, and really kept her young at heart. I am happy that she has had so many years of good health and good mobility, because as she ages, she can still get around, except for the eyesight problem. I’m glad she has remained as healthy as she has, because I hope we can keep her around for a while. Today is Aunt Jeanette’s 86th birthday. Happy birthday Aunt Jeanette!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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