One Fine Storyteller

Storytelling for Adults


by Rosemary Wilson

My Aunt Mary was the most successful person I have ever met. By success I mean she always seemed to have enough of what she needed in life.

Aunt Mary was content with her place and station in life. She was a diligent bookkeeper and never aspired to moving up the management ladder. She took pleasure in little joys such as a good meal at the Parkmoor after leaving work at 9PM -- she worked flex time before the term had been coined. Her biological rhythm was definitely night owl. She delighted in hours of shopping at Woolworths and then Walgreens looking for a bargain. Everyone looked forward to seeing the contents of her bulging shopping bags when she arrived for a holiday visit -- she always had a thoughtful and carefully wrapped package for everyone at the gathering. My son and other children delighted in her taking a great deal of time to learn and play the board games with them that she brought in that shopping bag. She had been blessed with good health until 1992 when she had an outbreak of shingles on the left side of her face. I remember waiting in the car that cold February afternoon while she was filling yet another shopping bag with goodies to give me before we could leave for the hospital emergency room. This was the beginning of what was to be an eleven year care giving odyssey for both of us.

Aunt Mary never complained or measured herself against society's standards of what one must or should have to do to be happy. In recent years, she did cry every Christmas Eve candlelight church service but she could never tell me why when I asked her as I handed her more Kleenex. She was the quintessential aunt to more than just me. The place Aunt Mary had in my life goes as far back as my baptism. She was the last living link to my family and childhood past as I am an only child with both parents now deceased. She came daily to my bedside as I recuperated from polio at age five. And yes, the ever-present well-stocked shopping bag was always her accessory. Aunt Mary was at my grade school, high school, and college graduations. In between all these cap and gown events, she helped the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus; helped my parents adjust to their only child getting married; and then, sat in the church pew for the baptism of my only child. In recent years, she was an avid fan of my storytelling. For her and for me, it was a constant and close relationship that spanned sixty years.

Aunt Mary had a simple faith in God and that she would definitely be going to heaven when the time came. That time has now come. When I will think about getting in the car to go see her or running an errand for her, I will have to remind myself that God is now taking care of her. I will have the memories and the stories as well as the comfort of her eternal peace and place in heaven.

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