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Kindred Spirits - Aunt Bessie and Cousin Eugene

Jackie Lynnley shares emotional times in her life in hopes of touching someone with like thoughts or feelings, feelings from the heart.

Her name was Bessie and she was tiny and so much like Grandma, only she wasn’t bedridden like Grandma but kept on the go. Something about her just always seemed pitiful and to this day I do not know what it was. She had so many kids and grandkids living with her, I didn’t know which was which. They were everywhere. Eugene fit in there somehow with her same sweet spirit.

There are people who stand out in our lives years after they are gone, even. These two do. I always remember them with a sense of sadness that they deserved so much more from life.

This is that story.


My Dad's Oldest Sister

Bessie always kept her hair up in a bun just like Grandma and she was getting that hump on her back like Grandma too. She was just so sweet and I never knew what to say to her. I was still shy, although I was now married, it would be a while before I stopped being so “backward” as my folks called it. Conversing did not come easily to me, especially with people I did not know well.

After Bessie asked me about Mom, Dad and my oldest brother (who was the only one she really knew well from back when) there was just nothing more to say. Why would I ask how she was doing when I could clearly see? It would have been rude really and embarrassing for her I knew. The best thing to do I knew was to make some polite talk and get out of her way to get on with her work. She would peek up at me in a shy way herself every little while and give me a halfhearted smile. I looked so much like my mom she said who she had been close to so many years ago, before all the children and grandchildren. They had spent many hours together while my dad who was her baby brother, was off fighting in other countries.


When Life Was Young

Bessie did not live with Dad's parents (also her parents) as Mom did with my baby brother. But she did live in one of the houses nearby that shared a dirt road with the many houses there.

Most living here worked for the same company that supplied the housing for low rent. This made a community really tight-knit but the women especially. Many of whom did not work, shared many hours over the fence, if not in a kitchen, for a quick cup of strong coffee. Conversation and laughter was their only entertainment.

Bessie had married this man that I do not think anyone much liked, but you never let on with family you didn’t like one of them. You said hello and then tried to keep your distance to not be forced into conversation with them. I think he may have been an alcoholic and I don’t remember him working anywhere ever and Bessie was just about the poorest soul I ever knew that wasn’t homeless. Her clothes just hung on her paper-thin body and I can never remember her sitting down or relaxing. She just kept moving and working and being as polite as she knew how to be.


When Your Husband Meets Your Weird Family

My husband and I had gone to visit my sister for a few days near my Aunt Bessie and there was a store at the end of the two-lane road in front of her house. My husband had walked there for some reason and on his way back this man stopped him and said get on in the car and when my husband hesitated not even being far from the house anyway, the man then slapped my husband on the arm and said, “You don’t know me, do you?”

Well, of course, he didn’t. The man said, “I am the best ---- uncle you ever did have!” He told my husband his name and he recognized it, of course. Not only was he not my husband’s uncle but only mine by marriage, but my husband was kind and went along with him. Later we went to his and my aunt’s house. Thankfully my husband took my place conversing with this uncle. People like this could entertain him while shocking me, so it worked out well.

How you have treated others who have passed.


Family Matters

That is where I met some cousins, first, second, third? Did the mothers of these children live here too or had Bessie just been dumped with every grandchild she had? I had no idea, but there was this one boy who took an instant liking to me and it appeared he was a year or two younger than me.

I remember him looking just like a kid, really, but then he started coming to my sister’s house to see me and it was like my husband did not exist, he paid him no mind. It was a good drive from his house to my sisters and we only speculated how he may have gotten there. He came to see me though and asked for me if I didn't answer the door, and at least one time he brought me a new dress. My sister knew them all a little better than I did and gave me some reason at the time why he may have done this.

Who does things like that? But for the life of me, I could not say anything to hurt his feelings. It didn’t make my husband mad, it was clear the boy had no education or knowledge about things like this. Now maybe he brought me even more things, it has been many years ago and it was so embarrassing to me and I had no idea how to handle it.

I could feel my face burn red as he looked adoringly at me. It really hurt me to see someone love me that didn’t care to love me showing it openly in front of my husband or whoever happened to be there. It was like someone found a puppy and they just wanted it so bad and the puppy was me. You could see that in his face. The times he was around were extremely emotional even if a little humorous once he was gone and I could relax and laugh it off. I have to admit though more than once I wanted so bad to cry but my sister is one of those to take nothing serious so there was no getting too down about it.

Besides, what could I do?


Gone But Not Forgotten

I was really glad to go home having all these sad and mixed feelings from this aunt and this cousin. Life had never dealt me a dilemma such as this and being so young I suppose made it so very hard to handle. My sister said he often would come around after I left and ask about me and talk about how purdy I was.

Only a couple years later though he died from some disease, possibly cancer, and it hurt me so very much his pitiful life was cut so short but I was so thankful I always showed him kindness. I would never have let him think I would make fun of his deep feelings.

He and Bessie were of the same spirit somehow, I felt. They both desired to be loved on this earth I think as every living thing is apt to do but somehow they seemed to be robbed of that joy. I just hoped somehow they felt regardless of my guarded and shy manner I had not yet learned to master that I did have special feelings for each of them. I would have wished that more than anything. For looking back over the past why else would these two be remembered so long and so lovingly if they did not have a place deep in my heart?

If only they could have known that before they left this world. I so hope they did get at least a glimpse of those feelings.

Kindred Spirits

© 2016 Jackie Lynnley


Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on October 08, 2016:

Thank you Norma, great to have you stop by and read.

norlawrence on October 08, 2016:

Get article. The picture were very nice. I loved it. Thanks

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on August 29, 2016:

Audrey, thank you! So pleased you brought me back to relive these memories a few more minutes! Glad you enjoyed this.

Audrey Howitt from California on August 28, 2016:

This was a beautiful write--really a gift! Thank you!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on August 01, 2016:

Nithya, thank you, so pleased to have you stop by and read this.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on August 01, 2016:

A great write with beautiful descriptions about people and their emotions, thank you for sharing your experiences.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on July 27, 2016:

Thanks Nell, always great to have you stop by!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on July 27, 2016:

Thank so much Peggy, I do hope it came across even in some small way that I did care about them. I want that so!

Jackie Lynnley on July 27, 2016:

Thanks Deb, I really don't know but I hope so too. Sometimes I just regret so much I did not go out of my way more to bring kindness to so many people. But it is never too late, is it?

Nell Rose on July 27, 2016:

I jackie, I thought I would pop over, as I haven't been here for a while, I always love reading your personal stuff, makes me think, nell

Peggy Woods on July 13, 2016:

I was very shy also as a youth so can totally relate to those feelings. It sounds like your aunt Bessie was a hard working soul doing the best she could under the circumstances. You obviously touched both of them in loving ways. Thanks for sharing your personal story. Sharing.

Deb Hirt on July 03, 2016:

Sometimes just being kind to a lonely soul is the best that can be done. This was a wonderful read, and I think we have all known someone like these two. Hopefully, kindness was shared with them as much as possible.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on July 01, 2016:

Thank you for reading Dianna. This was just something I felt compelled to write about and really have no better understanding of it today than then but wish I had done more then of course, but we can't go back.

Dianna Mendez on July 01, 2016:

Thank you for sharing from your personal life. I think some times our regrets an help us to improve our future relationships.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on June 26, 2016:

That is such a very nice thing to say ps, I would only wish it to be true. Welcoming your special angels, always. Thank you and God bless you and yours.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on June 26, 2016:

Clearly they touched your life in a special way and because of that you reach out to others touching many more than you may ever know, Jackie.

Angels are once again winging their way to you ps

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on June 26, 2016:

Thanks so much Jo, I am on the mend, am sure I will be fine and look forward to the end result! Hope you are well too and so great to see you.

Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on June 26, 2016:

Jackie, I'm so sorry to learn that you haven't been well, but glad you're on the mend. This nostalgic stroll down memory lane was well worth the visit. Tender and very touching.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on June 26, 2016:

Thank you Gypsy, I appreciate that.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on June 26, 2016:

A most heartwarming story. Enjoyed this.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on June 25, 2016:

Hi Bill! No just Pixabay but glad you mentioned you liked them cause I had a hard time settling on pictures or would have had this out lots sooner.

Heading your way soon as I can. Have been there a couple times lately but not too easy to concentrate lately. Getting old! lol

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on June 25, 2016:

Thank you MizB, I could never get enough prayers! It is no big deal on the meds (or I hope not) just meant to take down swelling and fluid on my spine. Guess they don't want to overdo it, so just doing a round at a time. Discovered my own therapy to keep me on my feet. Working so far!

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on June 25, 2016:

Jackie, I don't think I knew that you weren't well. I am glad to know that you are on the mend. I can relate to the 2 day med. I tried to get off Lyrica, so I took a new med for a couple of days, only to be plagued with headaches and nausea for a week even after I went back on the Lyrica full-time. I took it in the morning and the Lyrica at night to ease off it, but that didn't work, so I feel your pain. I'll keep you in my meditations and prayers.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on June 25, 2016:

As always, I love the story, but the first thing that drew me in was that first picture and the ones to follow. Did you do the photography? Either way, a very wonderful production. Thanks, Jackie.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on June 25, 2016:

Thank you Venkatachari. I am pretty strong in my feelings but I hope perhaps people like these two have helped me look deeper than what shows on the surface.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on June 25, 2016:

Nice hub. You have described the people and their feelings here very beautifully. It is true that we should try to cope with people and circumstances and try not to hurt anybody unnecessarily. I appreciate you.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on June 24, 2016:

Theresa, I find a special pleasure in drawing out meaningful incidents and really exploring the feelings all around it such as this. It was at a very emotional time in my life so I think is why it has been such a deep memory of two people really of one spirit.

I am good right now but off the last med they gave me in 2 days. Last time I went downhill just after, so hoping now I have the walk aid it will be different this time and agreeing with my loving friend for healing. Thank you!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on June 24, 2016:

Pleased you liked it Linda, I was really glad to be able to share this small but meaningful incident.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on June 24, 2016:

MizB, thanks. yes families can really be so complex. I do think as you do that in the past it was more like family and caring deeply.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on June 24, 2016:

Thanks so much Bill, pleased you liked it. Very nice things to say.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on June 24, 2016:

Hi Jackie,

I love your story here of your memories of Aunt Bessie and Cousin Eugene. It's interesting when we think back and recall our memories of certain people and who we think about them now and how we perceived them then. I do remember too when certain boys seemed to be taken with me, and I think it was because I was so shy and would never say anything mean to them and they sensed that somehow.

Your Aunt Bessie sounded like a strong woman who was making the best of life as she knew how, and it sounds like most people trusted her to care for all the children. She sounded selfless.

I always enjoy reading your stories and glad you have written one again like you used to write.

I hope you are feeling better. (((Hugs)))

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 24, 2016:

I love the characters in this story, Jackie. It's a sad story about some interesting people. Thanks for sharing it.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on June 24, 2016:

Family can be intriguing, frustrating, boring, all kinds of descriptions, sometimes all at once. A long time ago family was family and blood was thicker than water. Not so much anymore. This was a good look at the old days, Jackie.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 24, 2016:

This is such a simple and yet detailed look at life long ago...it's even written in a simple style, almost conversational. Your descriptions are beautiful, Jackie!

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