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, my mom’s second to the oldest sister, was born in 1930 in the middle of the worst depression in United States history. Unemployment had increased from 1.3 million in October 1929 to 3.2 million by March 1930. Money was scarce, and people had to make due with what they had. Of course, like any parent knows, children don’t wait until you can afford them, and in those days people had large families. My Aunt Virginia was the second of nine children born to her parents, George and Hattie Byer. Like most families, the children can have very different features, while still looking very much like brothers and sisters. Such was the case for my aunts and uncles. They all looked different, and yet very much like siblings.
Some of my aunts were tall…or at least to me they were. Their dad, was over six feet tall, so it stands to reason that some of the girls would inherit his height, or at least a little of it. My mom was 5’6″ and some of her sisters were taller, but Aunt Virginia wasn’t one of those. She took after her mother in height. My grandmother was 5 feet tall in her tall days, and I would guess that Aunt Virginia was no more than 5’2″ tall. I think though, that the thing that always stood out to me about Aunt Virginia was her dark hair. I always felt like it must look like shining black silk. Some of my mom’s siblings were blondes and some brunettes…some even dark brunette, but I think Aunt Virginia’s hair was the darkest, and it gave her an exotic look in my mind.
These days, my Aunt Virginia is even smaller than she was before. When I saw her at the cemetery on Memorial Day, at my parents graves where she and her sister, my Aunt Sandy Pattan were coming to add their decorations to ours on my parents graves, it occurred to me just what a tiny woman she is. I am only 5’2″, but I felt so tall next to her. Still, there was enough love inside her to fill up a much bigger person than she was. The love overflows, Aunt Virginia, as it does all of my aunts and uncles. Maybe that is what makes them all seem so much alike. Today is my Aunt Virginia’s 86th birthday. Happy birthday Aunt Virginia!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!
From the time she was a little girl, I knew that my daughter, Amy Schulenberg Royce could take care of herself. She was always a tiny little girl, and finally grew to the great height of 4′ 11″…or so I thought. Her husband kept telling her that she was only 4’10” and when she got tired of arguing with him she had him measure her, and sure enough she is 4’10”. Nevertheless, height isn’t everything. My little girl has always been feisty, and she let any poor soul who messed with her know that she was in charge. Don’t get me wrong here, because Amy is very much the peacemaker, and she really dislikes confrontation, but that doesn’t mean that she will let people push her around. It simply means that when she is done putting up with something…she is done, and you would do well to get out of the way.
I think that in many ways, that feisty determination has been something that has served her well. Many people think that stubbornness is a bad thing, but being a stubborn person myself, I know the value of stubbornness. A stubborn person really hates failure. They will set their sights on something, and against all odds, they will achieve that goal. That is exactly the kind of person Amy is. She is a never give up type of person, just like her mom. We are stubborn, but it is stubborn in a good way. Stubborn in a determined way.
Amy is a successful insurance agent now, and it has been my pleasure to work with her for the past several years. It’s not always easy to work with your child, but with Amy it has been easy. She has a great work ethic and would never put me in a position of needing to take her aside and chew her out for her work habits. Yes, we are both stubborn and determined, but we also work well together.
Amy’s life is changing now, with her children growing up. Amy has found a new passion…travel. She and her family went on their first cruise, to the Caribbean, and had so much fun that she can’t wait to go on another one. At this point, she and her husband, Travis are planning a cruise through the Panama Canal. They are so excited about it, and I am very excited for them. Today is Amy’s birthday. Amy, I am so proud of the person you have become. Happy birthday Amy!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!
Everyone thinks of boys and men being all tough and macho…at least when it comes to emotions, but that really isn’t always the case. In my experience, the fastest way to turn a guy from tough and macho to mush is a girl. Yes, girlfriends and wives will bring that out in a man, but the thing that really melts my heart is watching a man with his daughter or a boy with his baby sister. They just lose all that tough macho stuff, and become pretty much putty in her hands…living the rest of their lives wrapped around her baby finger, because she is quite simply their baby girl…their princess…their little darling…their everything.
The future will bring many frustrating times. She will be rebellious and argumentative. She will fight with them and annoy them. She will want to start dating and going out with friends, leaving her poor daddy to sit up, just waiting for her to get home, and then waking up after a late night to go to work, whether he feels like it or not. Her clothes will cost more than he ever dreamed, because obviously a girl can’t have too many outfits…or shoes. And yet, somehow all that doesn’t really matter, because she is their girl. They feel that protective instinct kick in. She is fragile and tiny, and they want to make sure nothing ever hurts their little girl.
It’s funny how even little boys can tell that their is something very different about this new baby. You have to be more careful and gentle than with a brother. For her…and no one else, they will change their play from rough and tumble to girly things…and you had better never tell anyone about it! She is simply special. She can make her brother play house…and have fun. She can make him stop running around…and run to pick up her dropped toy, without even trying. All they want to do is make her happy. They will turn into a clown, making little faces at her just to get a smile. And yes, they will hug and kiss this girl…at least for now, because we all know that at some point in a boys life, he figures out that even his sister can have cooties, and then for a time, she might have to realize that she is temporarily contagious. But then again, maybe she always was. Maybe the contagion has just changed a little bit…from “I love my girl” to “Girls have Cooties” and back again, because she will always be their girl.