Friday, January 23, 2009

A good afternoon

Today I spent the majority of the day with my favorite aunt, my mom's oldest sister. I have an assignment in my nursing class to interview someone that is at least 70 years old about their life. The assignment had interview questions to ask the person you are interviewing and use that information to write a paper about their life. I chose my aunt who is 78 years old. I enjoyed my afternoon learning about her memories of her childhood. I was amazed at the things she remembered. Her first memory was when she was 4 years old, the night their barn burned down. That was a big deal because grandpa, her father, made his living as a farmer. All of their animals were in the barn. She could remember seeing her daddy going into the barn on the end that she was on and not seeing him come out the other side with animals that he was rescuing. She remembered a neighbor holding her as she screamed for her daddy, thinking that he was lost to the fire. She shared stories of her memories of her younger brother's death and funeral and the fact that she met her dad's mom and dad for the first time at the funeral because her mom and grandpa's parents did not get along. The funeral was the first memory that she has of going to church, even though she was in church her entire life, she clearly remembered the organ and exactly where she sat at the funeral and who was holding her and she remembered watching her mom and dad at the funeral.

She talked about her memories of her dad's stroke and death and the 25 days that he was in the hospital between the two events. She spoke about my mother, her baby sister, and her illness and death. She also spoke about how close she was with my mom. When my mom was born it was my aunts responsibility to take care of her and my uncle who was three years older than my mom. My mom always looked up to her like a mom, they were very close. In fact most of my childhood memories revolve around my aunt, uncle, their 2 daughters their boat and Lake Bowen in Spartanburg, SC.

I loved hearing her talking about her daughters and how much they meant to her and how much the time she spent with them, especially one summer that she took off just to spend with them. She has so much pride in her 3 grandchildren and her newly born great grandson.

She repeatedly spoke about how real death was now, and how she wasn't scared to die. She also talked about how satisfied she was with her life and how now is the best time of her life because she understands a lot and she doesn't feel like she needs as much as she thought she did when she was younger.

I think she enjoyed talking about the memories, but I really believe she enjoyed spending time with me, I know that I surely enjoyed spending time with her and plan to make more time to spend with her and other people in my family that I have neglected lately.

What a wonderful day!! Thanks to my teacher for the assignment.

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