As the years go by, the number of aunts and uncles I have who are still living dwindles down. We don’t lose one or more every year, but they are slowly leaving us, and even years after they are in Heaven, I still think of them often, and especially on their birthdays. when I was a little girl, I somehow thought my Aunt Virginia Beadle was a tall (but not too tall) slim lady…and she was slim anyway. I suppose my own shortness made her seem taller, and I don’t know how tall she was in her tall days, but I know that in her latter years, she just got more and more tiny. Every time I saw her, I was amazed at how much more tiny and frail looking she was, but she wasn’t sickly, and that was a good thing. Unfortunately, she was just getting older, and that was a bad thing.
Aunt Virginia lived a full life, and she did so many things in her life. She worked much of her adult life…first for the telephone company, and then for the State of Wyoming. She was mom to three sons and two daughters. Her adopted son, Forest went to Heaven on July 3, 2005; and a daughter, Christy went to Heaven the day after her birth on November 20, 1967. Those were very sad events for Aunt Virginia, and I know that she is really enjoying her time with the children who went home ahead of her…as well as her husband, Uncle Bill Beadle who went home ahead of her too. Aunt Virginia was extremely saddened by every loss, but strong woman that she was, she persevered. That made her an inspiration to many…especially her children…and many of her nieces and nephews.
The Byer girls were a beautiful bunch, and Aunt Virginia was no exception. I always thought of her as very sophisticated. Maybe it was because of how she dressed for the jobs she held. In those days, dresses were the norm…especially at work, and Aunt Virginia always looked stunning. I remember looking at her as a little girl and thinking how pretty she was. I think I always wanted to “dress up” like she did. She was very pretty, but more important than her beauty, was her sweet disposition. She was always thoughtful and kind, and that endeared her to many people…both at work and in her daily life. She was soft-spoken and kind, and we all loved her. Today would have been Aunt Virginia’s 92nd birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven, Aunt Virginia. We love and miss you very much.
My Aunt Virginia Beadle is a soft spoken, teeny little woman, who is beautiful, inside and out. Beauty is a trait the Byer family kids all had in common, although I’m sure the two boys preferred handsome. Nevertheless, my grandparents did give birth to nine very beautiful people. Aunt Virginia was the second of my grandparents’ children, following my Aunt Evelyn, who was about two years older than Aunt Virginia. Like her older sister, Aunt Virginia was a friendly person who was liked by everyone she met. Since the Byer family has lived in this area for many, many years, that could be a very long list of people too. In fact, I am often amazed at the people I run into who know or knew my Aunt Virginia and her siblings.
Being the second oldest brought with it a certain degree of responsibility as the younger siblings came along. While grandma didn’t work outside the home, big families require the cooperation of all its members, and the older ones are first in line to help out. I suppose it was with the older children that the singing while you work tradition came about in my grandparents’ family. They would sing while they did the dishes or cleaned the house. It made for a happy home, and it was with the help of the older siblings, like Aunt Virginia that the younger siblings learned the songs and tradition. It was a tradition that was a tribute to my grandmother, Hattie Byer. She instilled in her children a love of song, happiness, and hard work.
As a child, I remember Aunt Virginia’s soft laugh and her sweet smile. She was always so much fun to be around. Her gentle spirit always made me feel loved. What more could a little kid ask from their aunt. I have always felt very blessed to know my Aunt Virginia. With Aunt Evelyn’s passing in May, Aunt Virginia became the oldest sibling left in the family. In many ways, that is kind of a wake up call for all of us…take the time to touch base with her whenever you can. Today is Aunt Virginia’s birthday. Happy birthday Aunt Virginia!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!
Family pictures are always a trial. It really doesn’t matter how big the kids are either. When my husband, Bob was a kid, he was very much a cut up. He liked to get everyone laughing and basically keep the situation a little off center. Of course, his mother really didn’t appreciate that much, and it was even worse, when Bob got Brenda laughing. Brenda found many things that her big brother did to be quite funny, and had a very hard time not laughing about his antics. And as anyone who knows Brenda will attest, once you get Brenda laughing about something, it’s hard to get her to stop. Now most of the time, that is ok, because it really is fun to listen to Brenda’s laugh, but when they were trying to get those pictures taken, Brenda’s laugh, and Bob’s humor were not as appreciated as they were on most other occasions.
On this particular occasion, in about 1968, Bob and Brenda were in rare form, joking with each other quite a bit. Their mother seemed to be handling things pretty well, and their sisters all thought the whole thing was pretty funny too. Their dad, however, was clearly not amused at all. I’m sure that by the time this whole photography session was over, he even had quite a headache. He was always a very easy going, and mostly a soft spoken person, but I would wager that this had taxed his patience to the limit.
I have known this man a long time, and he was always long suffering, but once his patience had ended, he had the ability to blow a gasket with the best of them. At that point, you knew it was time to straighten up your act, and by the look on Bob’s and Brenda’s faces he had reached that point. They were clearly mid-laugh when their dad yelled, “Knock it off!!” At that point there was nothing they could do except to close their mouths tightly and swallow what was left of that laugh. That can make for the funniest of faces as you can clearly see, but I suppose it was better than the alternative, which would have been the spanking they probably deserved.