Sherry and I make a yearly pilgrimage to Palm Beach County to pay homage a friend. This year it was her 95th Birthday.
Irma Lee, became known as Nee because her first niece called her Nee. She became known as ‘Aunt Nee’. Our connection with Aunt Nee is very roundabout. When I was in the USAF we were stationed in Missouri and met the most amazing Missouri Farm Family while attending the same church. My favorite singer was the Matron of the clan, Eileen. She had a marvelous voice (still does). Eileen told us there were 3 sisters and they were a trio until she moved to Missouri, from Florida. One sister passed away, but the other, Irma Lee, remained in Palm Beach County. She became very well known as a Seamstress. Her clients ranged into the rich and famous, including the wife of Perry Como.
(L-R Vickie, Juanelle, Irma (named for Aunt Nee), Mary and Glenda. Back row the two boys present, Harry and David Luke)
WE left Missouri and years later learned three of those Conrad kids, Glenda, Vickie and David Luke had moved to Florida. So in Florida we again got together and in doing that, we met Aunt Nee. The very soul of Love and joy. Always a smile, So She became a part of our life.
Aunt Nee is such an integral part of this family, each year some of the family drive/fly in from Missouri for the Birthday.
Now, below is Holly (wife of David Luke) and her grand daughter Mia. Mia was the youngest attending.
(Holly and Mia)
I stood around a lot, I cannot get involved, but I still observe, or people watch. I couldn’t help but see the carefree Mia, as she ran to the play ground. Once she stopped in her tracks, reached down and Plucked a small wild flower. She stood looking with childhood curiosity at the wonder of it.
I began to think what I was seeing. The exuberance of life, with literally millions of things to learn yet, undaunted, youth faces the challenge and handles life one thing at a time.
I looked over at Aunt Nee. She also faces life, but with the learned knowledge, and wisdom of the heart that comes with age. She knows she will never again run like Mia, but she knows she has. She will never again face the challenges of school or a job, but she has. Never again will she be personally serenaded by Perry Como, but she has. AT 95, she knows more of life than most, and she is still here to tell it.
I saw Mia pick up a huge seagrape leaf from the lawn, carefully held it in both hands and studied it. She actually put it back on the grass tenderly. I thought of youth tenderly handling age with respect.
That is what these nieces and nephews were doing with Aunt Nee, treating her with love and respect.
Just people watching, Jack.
Aunt Nee never married, never had children. But every year she would sew her nieces dresses of the latest fashions for School and Spring. These Farm girls wore clothes that were made by the loving hands that created clothes for the rich and famous. Why wouldn’t you love someone who cared that much for you?
WE stopped for a Cuban sandwich in Indiantown, And I saw this ‘50’s Chevy truck