Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Tribute to a Great Lady and a Lesson to Remember...

Today I spent time with my great aunt, Emily Brown. Aunt Emily is 102, sharp as a tack, independent, beautiful b-e-y-o-n-d words, still lives completely on her own, and has survived: two husbands, losing a fortune in the Great Depression, running her own business when women didn't do such things, and countless other challenges since her birth in Eagle Lake, Maine, in 1907. (Right, Aunt Emily watching the balloons we released at her 100th Birthday celebration in 2007).

The setting today: a nursing home in Manchester, Conn.; the situation: her baby sister (my 92-year-old grandmother) needed help getting from her wheelchair into bed. My dad and I had already asked for help, but it was slow in coming and grandma was painfully exhausted. Aunt Emily, ever impeccable in her trademark 2"-heels and pearl strand necklace, took off down the hall with her cane (dad and I knew much better than to try to stop her). She returned, hugged Grandma, settled into a chair beside me and assured us all: "They'll be right here." 

She then leaned in and informed me: "I asked if they could send someone quickly and they said yes, so I said, 'You won't forget now, will you?' and I smiled." Squeezing my hand, she added wisely: "Remember to always smile and be kind. It is the best way to connect with people, and the best policy, no matter what."

No more than two minutes later, two aides were there to help Grandma.

So, here's to my Aunt Emily, the very definition of a "Great Lady", and her simple (yet, oft-neglected) lesson, which has led (and continues to lead) her through life's challenges. May we all smile and remember it...

1 comment:

  1. To Aunt Emily...may we all strive to be independent, courageous, and young at heart! Beautiful story Carrie! Thanks for sharing