My Great Aunt was hilarious, sometimes loud, impeccably dressed with beautiful heels, perfect hair and nails, when she whistled it was like an angel was crying it was so beautiful. She was my crazy Aunt, she loved her tea time just so, she constantly told me to sit up straight, and cross my feet like a lady.

She was in and out of my life as we moved constantly. She never wrote me a letter, or wished me a Happy Birthday, what she gave me, was a gift I could not repay.

I had been staying at my cousin’s house sitting during the summer months. My parents were still abroad, and I was left alone at 18. I had lots of friends and family friends come check on me, and I of course had my Auntie Nauny. My then boyfriend came down for a visit, he was visiting his Aunt and Uncle and of course me. We were young and very much in love. I was so thrilled to introduce the young man who captured my heart, that I invited him to meet my Aunt and me at a local restaurant. The first thing my Auntie Nauny said “He is adorable, young man come give me a hug.”

As we sat there eating and chatting, I was so happy, it was one of those meetings where I thought it was Kismet.

As we wrapped up, my boyfriend and I went one way, and my great Aunt went the other.

I didn’t hear from her for days. That was normal for her.

5 days later, she called and said she was coming over.

That is when the story unfolded.

She sat on her bed, shaking scared, she was bleeding, but from where. He came in, growled at her, grabbed her hair and dragged her downstairs. She whimpered, knowing if she cried it would make it worse. He dropped the fist full of hair, relaxing her neck. He left the room, came back with a gun, she knew she was dead. Only he came back grasped her hair and dragged her outside to the hot sun in the backyard. He grabbed and pointed the gun and fired 2 times, instantly killing her prized possessions, her dogs. She looked at him and knew her fate. She would die here, she knew it.

She got up, went over to kiss her dogs goodbye, went back into the house, and stumbled into her bathroom. She was bruised everywhere. She took out her makeup and whistled.

As my Aunt was telling me this story, tears rolled down her face. She had been drinking, she always drank when the memories came back. She had been beaten repeatedly for years, she had no idea how to leave, but got enough nerve to leave him on a trip back to Canada. She had 5 children, and had no dime to her name. She left an abusive relationship in the 1950’s, but never got help, what help was there at that time.

She turned to me and said “That young man you are in love with, is someone you should stay far away from, he isn’t nice. You have a volatile relationship and once the abuse starts, you will find it impossible to leave.”

I was beyond shocked, in fact, I hadn’t seen it at all, but deep down, I knew what she was talking about. That was the day she and I became kindred spirits.


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