My Aunt Deloris…Aunt Dee to all of her nieces and nephews, was such a happy person. It never seemed to matter what might be going on in her life. She didn’t allow her happiness to depend on whether or not everything was perfect in her day. In fact, I truly don’t remember a time when I saw my Aunt Dee, that she was not smiling. That is a very special thing to say about a person, because not all of us can be known for our smile or our happy personality. I never knew my aunt as a young girl, because she was already a grown woman with children of her own by the time I came on the scene. Nevertheless, I have been looking at pictures of her in her younger days, and I think she was always that way. She loved people, especially her family, and just being alive.
I have to think, however, that Aunt Dee might have been a little bit shy when she was a girl. At lease that is how she looked to me. As I look at the family pictures she is in, I noticed that her demeanor seems to be happy, but just a little bit timid. Maybe it was just her being humble minded, which is never a bad thing, and really, an endearing trait to have. I don’t think Aunt Dee ever thought of herself as anyone special, but I did. I loved having her come over to our house, because she was always like a ray of sunshine. She never had an attitude of greatness, which in my opinion just goes to show how great she really was…she just didn’t seem to know that. How could that be? I mean, we could all see it, but she could not. It was just her way. Hers was a behind the scenes greatness.
Nevertheless, if you asked all the people who knew her, I’ll bet that every one of them could tell you about some of the many special things she did for people…like the piano she bought for the family, and teaching her siblings to dance, or my mom to fly…at least as much as you could using the wind and your coat as wings. She was a friend you wanted to call yours. She was such a kindhearted woman, and yet she took no credit for what she did for people. She was more the Wind Beneath Your Wings kind of gal. I will always remember her sweet smiling face. Aunt Dee left us on October 6, 1996, when Brain Cancer stole her sweet smile from us. Today would have been Aunt Dee’s 82nd birthday!! Happy birthday in Heaven Aunt Dee!! We love and miss you always.
My grandma, Harriet “Hattie” Byer was never a very big person in stature, but when it came to being the boss, she was a giant. Grandma was a loving person and very kindhearted. She would never let anyone go hungry, and often had several extra mouths at the supper table. No one could ever figure out just how she managed to always have enough food for all of her family, and yet still have plenty for extras, even when she didn’t know they were coming. Yes, when it came to the kitchen, Grandma was the Queen!!
Grandma was pretty easy going, but when one of her kids crossed the line, they found out exactly who was the boss. Grandma’s short stature in no way diminished her ability to discipline her children or grandchildren if they had dared to cross her much…like the time she was giving my Uncle Larry a spanking, and my mother dared to interfere. There was no doubt in my mother’s mind that her mother seemed giant like…or at the very least, had giant like strength when she grabbed her by the hair, jerking her back to receive her own spanking for sticking her nose in where it did not belong. And then there was the time that an adult Aunt Bonnie, dared to suggest that grandma couldn’t take her down now, because she was too big for her mother to handle. Grandma immediately reached over and grabbed Aunt Bonnie’s feet and pulled them right out from under her, depositing her, with mouth wide open, on the floor. Aunt Bonnie found out what a giant her mom was too.
More than one of the grandchildren have learned the hard way, that Grandma ruled like a giant. I remember getting crossways with her myself, one time when my mom and dad were hunting. Grandma was babysitting my sisters and me. I don’t remember what it was I did now, but I do remember that I knew I was in the wrong, and I remember that when Grandma was done with me, I had no doubt in my mind that she was a giant of a woman. It wasn’t that she beat the daylights out of me, because I don’t recall that she even spanked me. She simply let me know that she was in charge, and I had better not forget it. Grandma stood 5′ in her tall days, and about 4’10’ after she began to shrink, but when it came to being in charge, Grandma was a giant of a woman. Today would have been Grandma’s 105th birthday. Happy birthday Grandma!! We love you!!!