my Great Aunt Lucinda
Great-Aunt Lucinda was always so little. She had a hunch on her back just big enough to shrink her a few inches, and wore her pants pulled up so high I imagined they were touching her bra. I looked forward to visits down to Dothan to see her and Uncle Curtis. Mom always warned us about the messy house, the carpets that were never vacuumed, and well we should just keep our shoes on inside. But I didn’t care. I loved the antique furniture and the ice cream sandwiches kept in the extra freezer in her walkway.
Aunt Lucinda loved to hear me play the piano. She had a piano in her ‘formal sitting room’ that she practically begged me to start playing before I even got in her house. Her piano was always out of tune and some of the keys stuck, but she could not be happier to listen to me play. I loved looking through her music stored in the piano bench. from the 1900’s and before; books filled with old hymns; pages yellowed and corners taped; I would spend hours sorting through her sheet music. When she moved to a nursing home, my parents brought me many of those sheets, and one day I hoped to preserve and frame some of them. I think she willed her piano to me … that’s how much it meant to her.
She was an amazing woman all around. She was a basketball player, and a basketball coach in the 50’s for the high school. She would tell stories about practices were they were not allowed to dribble the ball. She loved Auburn football and bleed orange and blue. I’m pretty sure she graduated from Auburn (I’m sure her husband did), and if I had to guess, she was out pushing for women’s rights.
My all time favorite memory of Aunt Lucinda involves the infamous 'bump' downtown Dothan. If you take the street that goes through downtown (give me a break ... I was a kid, not driving yet) there is a part where the street raises and if you go fast enough your car rises off the road and it feels like you are flying. We were driving downtown; my Dad at the wheel, Aunt Lucinda in the passenger seat, and my mom, my sister and me crammed into the backseat. We were approaching this bump in the road, and Dad just was not driving fast enough for Aunt Lucinda. She looked over at him at said "Give in a little gas Charles!" and he did ... and we flew over that bump like no other time and laughed about that day for years.
When her son was around 15, he got and became very sick; extremely sick; so sick that the high fever affected his mental capacity. He survived. She gave up everything to be with him. I know she loved him so very much. Glenn is still alive at around 60, and we often figured that was one of the reasons she lived so long. She just wasn’t ready to leave her baby boy yet.
She took my mom and my uncle in after their mom passed away. She was the one that hooked my Mema and my Papa up. Mema was Aunt Lucinda’s hairdresser when Aunt Lucinda decided that her brother needed a new wife, and his kids needed a new mom, and Abby Jane was the perfect woman for it.
In my small stooped Aunt, I always saw power. Her eyes were always bright with life, even after her husband passed away. Her hugs were always the strongest and most powerful hugs. She was so stubborn … drove her car all the way until they took it from her, but she loved strong too.
Even though my babies never had the chance to meet her, I always sent pictures. Mema made sure she knew their names, and told her whose kids they are. I know she was proud, and I know she was proud of me.
Over the years, I have been influenced by my Great Aunt, but I never really realized just how greatly until I began to reflect on my memories of her. You may assume she was my Great Aunt because she was older, but I think she was my Great Aunt because she was Great!
Thank you Aunt Lucinda for loving like you did. Rest in Peace and when we meet again in heaven, I expect a strong tight hug and a big War Eagle!
Friday, September 24, 2010
Posted by Christy at 10:22 PM