Aunt Bessie and Cousin Eugene - Kindred Spirits


Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Her name was Bessie and she was tiny and so much like Grandma, only she wasn’t bed ridden 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 grand kids living with her, I didn’t know which was which. They were everywhere.

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, because I was still shy although I was now married, but it would be awhile before I stopped being so “backward” as my folks called it. Conversation did not come easy 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 then 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 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 half-hearted 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 (and 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 a 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.

She had married this man that I don’t 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.


“Nobody is so weird others can't identify with them.” ― Rebecca Miller

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 and my husband had walked there for some reason and on his way back this man stopped him and said get on in and when my husband hesitated not even being far from the house anyway, the man then slapped my husband on the back 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.


“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said. The art of reading between the lines is a life long quest of the wise.” ― Shannon

How you have treated others who have passed.

Do you feel you did the best you could have or do you recall with regret?

  • I do recall with regret.
  • I know I did the best I could.
  • I didn't know then what I know now.
See results without voting

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. My face would burn red as he looked adoringly at me and 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 take nothing serious people so there was no getting too down about it.


Kindred Spirits

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.

Comments 33 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 months ago

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.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

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

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 months ago from southern USA

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)))

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South Author

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

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South Author

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 profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South Author

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

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South Author

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!

Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 3 months ago from Hyderabad, India

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 profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South Author

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.

lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

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.

MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 months ago

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.

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South Author

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!

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South Author

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

Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 months ago from Riga, Latvia

A most heartwarming story. Enjoyed this.

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South Author

Thank you Gypsy, I appreciate that.

tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 months ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

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 profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South Author

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.

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 months ago from sunny Florida

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 profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South Author

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.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 months ago

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

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South Author

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.

Deb Hirt 3 months ago

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.

Peggy Woods 3 months ago

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.

Nell Rose 2 months ago

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

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South Author

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 profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South Author

Thanks Nell, always great to have you stop by!

Vellur profile image

Vellur 2 months ago from Dubai

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

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South Author

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

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 7 weeks ago from California

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

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 7 weeks ago from The Beautiful South Author

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

norlawrence 12 days ago

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

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 12 days ago from The Beautiful South Author

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

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