Friday, December 5, 2008

Another Love Story

Going back to November's Chapbook Challenge; there were so many poems I wanted to write and this one about my aunt is one that I definitely wanted to get written. I finally completed it and will add this to my chapbook.
I finally found a photo of Aunt Betty looking straight on. I didn't post it before because my Mom didn't know she was coming to a reunion we had here and she is crying. My Mom does not cry easily at all and this was very touching for us.



Beautiful Aunt Betty

She’s beautiful says my best friend
don’t you hope you look like her when
you grow up.
The memory of the time
my Aunt Betty took me to live with her
and her family comes flooding back. They
couldn’t afford another mouth to feed,had
two children of her own and one on the way.
I thought they were rich and I was proven
correct that first morning when she asked
me what kind of cereal I’d like for breakfast.
She had three to choose from.I was overwhelmed
so she chose for me. Yes, she really is
beautiful
,I tell my best friend, I hope
I grow up to be like her.


My Sunday School teacher tells me
in front of the class how beautiful Betty is.
I look up at my teacher but my vision is
of my aunt who plays the piano in church
as I sing spirituals loud and out of tune.
The tears course down my cheeks each time
she plays because her music touches me
so deeply I feel it is a spiritual experience
all by itself. I am so proud of her and what
she could do and who she was. I nod to my
sunday school teacher, Yes, Mam, she is beautiful.

Your Aunt Betty is beautiful, Judy, she’s really
stunning
says my husband when he meets her
for the first time. Later he would say how well
she ages and you can tell she has a good
heart and she loves you
. I burst with pride at
the remembrance of how she would protect me
even against small injustices here and there.
How she made sure that she gave me exactly
the same number of candy corns that her son
had. She knew somehow that it was important.
She had a love so deep for her children that just
the light from that spilled out on me and I was
happy when she was around. Yes, she does
shows her love and she is, indeed, beautiful.


What a beautiful woman your Aunt is says
the receptionist at the nursing home where she is
recuperating. I remember back to the times when
deep in my grief, she held me and let me cry. She
listened and held my hand while I screamed out
against the world, against a God who could allow
my son to die. How she came to his funeral to be
a support for my mother and me with her quiet
presence. I even believed her when she said I’d
find my way through this, though I couldn’t imagine
how. She told me what I needed to hear in our
phone calls, sent me letters and cards and made
a wall hanging with my son in a choir of angels
that was precious to me. Yes, she is beautiful
even when she isn’t feeling well,
I reply.

I look at my aunt’s photo on the funeral card I
have in front of me and my tears fall because
I still miss her so much. Her death is still fresh
and we who loved her still so raw in grief and
missing her.I feel the love in her beautiful blue
eyes. I can feel her smooth hand on mine and the
flawless skin of her cheeks against mine as she
bears my pain with me. I can hear her voice on
the telephone telling me every thing is going
to be OK, soothing like a gentle spring rain as
it falls around me, over me, and through me
still. Yes, she sure was beautiful.She still
is for as long as we who love her live.
Judy Roney
Nov 19, 2008

9 comments:

Peggy said...

Beautiful memories of your Aunt Betty. I well remember you talking about how important she was to you and know her memory remains important to you. A good person to have in your life.

Darrell said...

Judy: I've been looking forward to this poem,yet also dreading it because I knew it would make me cry. I did cry, but they were good tears. I am so proud to be Mom's son. I am so proud of how she touched so many lives. She was so beautiful, inside and out. I even got brave enough after reading this, to sit down and watch part of my video from our family reunion last year. I just wanted to see her. Hearing her laugh, watching her tell stories from our past, it's all so perfect.Thanks for sharing this, Judy.

Mary said...

Very nice memories of your Aunt Betty, Judy. It is obvious that so many people, besides yourself, saw her as beautiful! Fine writing about a fine person!

Victoria said...

I'm a few days late getting to this one - don't know how I missed it - and I am just bawling. I'm so glad you had your Aunt Betty's love for so much of your life - especially deep in grief. She was right about you finding your way through - and I remember when I felt I could never find a way through my own grief, no matter what anyone said. I wonder if you look like her - but whether you do or not, I know you have her beauty.

Victoria said...

I'm a few days late getting to this one - don't know how I missed it - and I am just bawling. I'm so glad you had your Aunt Betty's love for so much of your life - especially deep in grief. She was right about you finding your way through - and I remember when I felt I could never find a way through my own grief, no matter what anyone said. I wonder if you look like her - but whether you do or not, I know you have her beauty.

Judy said...

Victoria - You bring a tear to my eyes. I DO want to be beautiful in the way my Aunt was. How she loved and how she gave and just simply how she was. Bill has told me more than once that I favor Aunt Betty. Well, I don't think so but I'm glad he sees it there. He says I am aging like my aunt Betty when he wants to tell me I look nice if we are going out or something. :) Makes me smile.

Darrell said...

Judy: This picture caught me SO by surprise. Like I told you, I check out your blog, as well as your poetry just about every day. Beats checking out the depressing headlines about the sinking economy. So tonight, I was in the mood to read your poem about Mom again. Oh my God, Judy. That picture literally just knocked the breath right out of me. When I see a new picture of Mom, or one I haven't seen in a while, just for the briefest second, I am forced to remember, "Oh yeah, she's really gone." This picture did that to me. But it's such a good picture. And I remember the story behind it, and how happy you said your Mom was. Wasn't she crying? I'm so glad you added a picture; it adds more life to your poem. And yes you DO look like Mom! Bill is 100% right on that one! If you want an overwhelming YES vote on that point, post that picture you took of you and Mom, faces pressed together, from just last year I think. If for no other reason, I'd love to see that picture again. Sounds like Victoria might like to see it too...

Joni said...

Another wonderful sharing of memories, Judy.

I remember Aunt Betty best by "Betty Jean". When Momma spoke about her that is the way she always referred to her.

While Momma was waiting for the angels to escort her into passing Aunt "Betty Jean" called her. They laughed, cried, and shared through a very long phone call. Afterwords, Momma was so as ease.

After Momma passed Aunt "Betty Jean" and I shared memories of the past through a few phone conversations. I will always remember her soft kind voice. It had a wonderful calming tone.

She made a difference by giving Momma and myself some peace with her calming voice.

Judy said...

Joni, I, too, was blessed with Aunt Betty's calming voice and her reassurances that I would be OK when I didn't dream that I would be again. You are right. Just her voice could calm me. When I would talk to her sometimes she something in her voice would remind me of grandma and I'd think I had two wonderful voices at once consoling me. :) I thought that about your Mom, too, though. I told her she sounded like Grandma sometimes and she'd say, "Oh, Lordy, I must be getting old!" LOL I'm glad she was able to offer you some comfort, too.