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Friday, July 23, 2010

Red Ant

I'm assuming every family has one.... The one who connects all of the others, the one whom the family revolves around and I don't mean that in a bad way. I remember summers at her house, Christmas around her tree and family dinners where there were more family than room. I call her "Red Ant" because like Mohommad Ali she could float like a butterfly and sting like a bee except she was just a little bitty thing. I hated the way she used to wake us up when we spent the night at her house. Sleeping late was for lazy bones and even if it were summer that was no excuse just to lay around sleeping your life away. She would bound into our darkened room, clapping her hands and in the most annoying high pitched tone she could muster up sing "Rise and Shine, rise and Shine" while throwing open the curtains and allowing the blazing sun to accost our sleepy eyes. She took great delight in this little ritual simply because she knew it made us dread the morning and I'm pretty sure that by todays standards it would be considered just a few hand claps shy of child abuse. Then she would sweetly asked if we would care for some chocholate gravey and bisquets for breakfast, which would immediately irradicate any ill feelings we harbored about her rude awakening.  She calls me "Little Jackie LouLou"  and her house was a like a second home to me even though we lived 2 hours away. Being at Red Aunt's house was just how things were suppose to be. The family would stay up late telling family tales. My cousin and I would sit quietly and listen even if the stories had been told a thousand times. She would wait until every one was tucked soundly in bed (even if that meant she waited until 3 a.m.) before she whipped out the vacuum and began to clean.... leaving little triangles on the living room carpet to be found first thing in the morning. I loved to pester her then, I love to pester her now.... In fact I love to shock her prudishness with slightly off colored remarks just to see her pale skin blush and watch her mouth fly open as she says "Aww, now LouLou!" Even to this day I'm pretty sure she hasn't quiet figured me out. I'm not sure she  ever really appreciated the drum beat to which I tend to walk to and I think she was always suspicious that I was more of a wild child than I really was.... I don't mind letting her think that. She lives on a country road that dead ends at a pasture that used to be filled with cattle. Her house is right beside where my Grandparents lived with a huge garden in between. She took care of Grandma and Grandpa until God called them both home. After Grandma and Grandpa died, she took care of other elderly family members during their last days. She is the epitome of a care giver. Her hair is now gray, her steps are very slow and unsteady, but the spark that won her the title of  Red Aunt is still found just beneath the wrinkles that now adorn her face. She is the matriarch of our family and we are a much better family because of her. All of my memories spent at her house will be treasured forever. It is my prayer that her last few years be filled with harmony and love to those whom she dedicated her life.

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