Several weeks ago, I embarked on a journey to create an identity for those maternal family members who came before me.
Seekers Dungeon Prompt, “Let’s Talk About Family,” opened up a new door to share my memories.
I grew up surrounded by a large group of maternal aunts and uncles who nurtured and cared for me in their own special way.
All of my aunts filled in the space vacated by a:
- Mother who worked a full-time job, six days a week; and a
- Grandmother and Great-Grandmother who died before I was born.
Aunt Roxy, one of my great-grand aunts, cared for me during the day until I was about 12-years-old. She and her husband, Uncle RV, were childless. They lived on the third floor of a Victorian Style building on South Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
Aunt Roxy and Uncle RV used the front living room as their bedroom. Her two sisters, Aunt Willie and Aunt Sally, stayed in the other two bedrooms. They were special, too, and I will share memories of them in future posts.
There were two common areas in the apartment — a kitchen and a small open space off the stairwell which housed two comfortable chairs and cabinet style-radio that sat on the floor.
Aunt Roxy and Uncle RV also had a small 12″, black and white television in their bedroom where everyone gathered to watch their favorite shows.
On Saturdays, the aunts came together in the kitchen to prepare the weekly, after church, Sunday dinner. They always seemed to cook enough to feed anyone who came by. The two tables in the large kitchen rarely had an empty seat on Sunday.
I had my play and napping place in Aunt Roxy’s bedroom — a separated corner area of the room, surrounded by windows where I spent many hours playing, dreaming and pretending. As an only child, I didn’t have a problem entertaining myself.
Though, I have fond memories of Aunt Roxy and the many hours I spent under her care, I —
- Disliked taking the daily dose of caster oil after lunch. Even though she followed this up with one whole marshmallow, it didn’t erase the awful taste.
- Feared the dead bodies that regularly entered and exited the funeral home on the first floor and the embalming center in the basement. It was not unusual to see a body laid out in an open casket for viewing in the entryway leading to the apartments upstairs.
Because I cannot recall when Aunt Roxy died or her married name, I will search for this information. You see, there is no one left who remembers.