My aunt, now 97, told me that if she’d known she was going to live this long, she would have recovered her easy chair, and maybe had the springs fixed, too, because they’re as she says, “rump sprung.” She is the last living member of her generation in the family and has lived in the same house since 1952. Her husband died 26 years ago. In talking about her life, she says the only thing she wishes she’d done differently is that she’d talked back more to her mother (a mean old bat, in my experience), though she doubts it would have made much difference. It’s an interesting question and what it makes me wonder is whether standing up to her mother would have changed other things in her life, in a ripple effect.
While we are talking, I notice once again that she has the same hands my dad did; when I remark upon it, she says that they’re her dad’s hands, and she thinks of him when she looks at them. Some of the family stories she tells are new to me, and some are stories I’ve heard before, but with a completely different slant to them. People and their perspectives are amazing. As the end of my visit approached, she summed things up by saying she’s content and enjoys her life. How great is that? One could have worse aspirations than to be able to say that at 97.