Wednesday, January 14, 2009

MY ROLE MODEL FOR GROWING OLD

I was going through some old pictures and came across the above picture. This is my mother on the left and her cousin, Louise, on the right. The picture was taken in about 1923. They were adorable in their hats and my mother with her hankie and Louise with her little purse. Everyone in the family has always called my mother's cousin, "Pete". It seems that when she was a kid, she fell in the irrigation ditch and came out all covered in peat moss; so a great-uncle started calling her Pete.

Pete was my mother's first cousin - just four months younger than my mother. Both sets of their parents were divorced when they were about two years old. This was pretty unusual for 1920s; so, they were raised together more like sisters on their grandparent's farm. In addition to being cousins/sisters, they were also best friends for more than 70 years from birth till the day my mother died. They hardly lived much more than a mile from each other their whole lives, and visited back and forth continually. Therefore, Pete has always been a part of my life. This is a picture of Pete & I taken in 1939.

Pete is the only person living that remembers the day I was born. That must mean that both of us are getting old!! Well, Pete is 89 years old this month and is my role model for aging.

She is sharp as a tack; always tells it like it is, but never is judgmental or complains. Her kids adore her, and she still takes as good care of them as they do of her. This last summer, Pete buried her middle son - he was only 51 years old. It must be terrible to bury one of your children; but Pete was so full of faith and grace, she made it easier for everyone else.

Pete & I live 90 miles from each other, but we regularly telephone and see one another occasionally. She always is interested in everything I'm up to, asking about my family, etc. and always wants to know what I'm cooking for supper. Her grandmother (my great-grandmother) was a great cook; but was terrible at cleaning up afterwards, as she thought that was what kids were for. Pete and I always laugh about Grandmother and her ways. Pete has lots of memories to share and is my link to my ancestors.

Here is Pete recently - we were looking and laughing at some old photos.

I'm sure Pete will never read this, as "computer" is not in her vocabulary; but I needed to write down how important she has been to me. Guess I had better go call her. Anyway ---- I want to ask her if I sucked my thumb as a baby. For some unknown reason, I want to find that out!!!

Thanks for stopping by,
Sally

19 comments:

Smilingsal said...

I wonder if you did; I sucked my thumb until I was close to 5 years old! Your second mom, Pete, sounds delightful. No wonder she's your model.

Sue said...

Hi Sally..what a lovely post, Pete looks like a real fun lady and how nice it must be to have her in your life....I have no relatives and it always seems very strange....Hope your week is going good. Your Dr. Zhivago is on it's way to me and i hope to have your package out in the mail by the weekend....Sue.

Southern Lady said...

What a sweet and loving tribute to a lovely lady. You should print it and take it to her, Sally. I know it would mean a lot to her to know how you feel about her.

Sincerely,

Janie

Bo said...

Hi Sally...reading this just warmed my heart...I think your Aunt Pete would be thrilled that you shared her with all of us here in Blogland... ;-) Bo

Twice as Nice said...

What a great story. Everyone should have an Aunt Pete!! I just love old stories. What a blessing she is.

Shelia said...

Hi Sally! Oh, what a precious story about your family. Your Mother and Pete are adorable in their little hats and how special they remained so close! You were just a precious little dumpling!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia :)

Tootsie said...

I was the worst thumb sucker! I did it over the wool mittens my mom tied onto my hands to make me stop! I sucked until I was 10 years old...(shameful...I know)
The worst...when I sucked in my sleep....it was very noisy sucking...and it would wake my family up!
you are lucky to have such a special aunt!

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

What an amazingly beautiful story. Thank you so very much for sharing your wonderful relationship with your Aunt Pete, Sally.

Chari said...

Hi Sally...

I just adored this post about your Aunt Pete and reading about your fond memories!!! The photo of your mama and Aunt Pete when they were little is soooo adorable!!! Thanks for sharing...

It's snowing like crazy here in Eastern Colorado...are you getting any of that white stuff? hehe!

Warmest wishes...
Chari

onlymehere said...

I have an Aunt who is very dear to my heart like your Pete is to you. I'm so glad you have each other.

santamaker said...

Love your tribute to your Mom and her cousin. We are lucky to be able to share these memories with each other and our families.

nikkicrumpet said...

How nice that you still have someone so lovely in your life. She sounds like a very precious lady! I love her joyous smile!

Tracey McBride said...

This is such a lovely story. We need more role models for how to grow old gracefully, independently and with strength. How blessed you are to have had two such wonderful women in your life (your mom and your Aunt Pete). Thank you so much for sharing. I will have to visit again to see if you actually did suck your thumb as a baby!
Warmly,
Tracey
P.S. The pictures were fabulous.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

How precious that picture of your mother and Pete is, and how wonderful to still have Pete in your life. Print this post out for her. I'm sure she would cherish it. laurie

ceekay said...

We all seem to be nostalgic today in our posts!! Thanks for looking at my cards and commenting. I love sitting with my aunt who is 81 and she tells me family stories. Precious times.

Maison Douce said...

What a sweet post!!My aunt Clara is like your aunt Pete... These are the memories to hold on to!!
Isabel

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Sally, what beautiful children your mother and Aunt Pete were. Aunt Pete is still beautiful. What wonderful memories. You are so fortunate to have the pictures. I'm wondering do you have a picture of your mother to share? I'm so glad you still have her so close to you.. hugs ~lynne~

Shelia said...

Hi dear Sally! Thanks for the visit and I'm so glad you're a thankful one. I can tell you are. Glad I've met you, my friend.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Kimberly said...

Thank you for sharing your Pete with us. She sounds like a lovely person; I hope I'm like her when I'm old! :) Thank you for sharing the pictures, also!