I stumbled upon this photo of my mom and my aunt Helen, and it made me laugh out loud. I’m not sure if they were trying to look mean or not, but they look like two tough gals you wouldn’t want to mess with!
My aunt Helen preceded my mom in death by about a year. She was tough. She had survived cancer, back when Cobalt was the primary treatment method and it apparently had brutal side effects. Helen soldiered on, raised a family, took care of her husband (my mom’s brother) when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and outlived him to a ripe old age. Even though she was afflicted with painful conditions as she neared the end of her life, she continued to travel the country and Canada with her family.
Born in the 1920s and 1930s, Aunt Helen and my mom knew tough work from a young age, but they also knew the love of a strong family.
Aunt Helen and my mom grew closer as they grew older, no doubt because they outlived many of the other members of the family. But the two also could talk for hours, with Aunt Helen serving as my mom’s eyes and ears back home in Newport, Tennessee where most of her family lived.
It was a big loss for my mom when Aunt Helen died, as she lost a key connection to her family. Younger generations prefer to text or email, something my mother never did. The phone grew silent.
Now I feel the same way with Mom gone, and the silent phone. I don’t miss it ringing to be honest, but the severed connection cannot be replaced. At least I have this outtake photo, showing the toughness and sense of humor our family have.