Sunday, April 27, 2008
My grandfather (the surgeon) had a sister who was a nurse. She married a steel tycoon who she nursed back to health after a bout with some contagion or other. She lived in Florida and would drive up to visit every couple of years. She was my great aunt but was known as Aunt Anne to everybody. She was an imperious matron with a heart of some valuable mineral. They were lean years and she brought chocolate and oranges for my mother and her five brothers and sisters at Christmas during the depression. Now, near as I can tell she did this for over thirty years. Here's the deal...she drove up some time around 1958, from Florida to Vancouver, British Columbia. She must have been at least eighty. The weather was cold and it was starting to snow when she was due to start back. One of my uncles, her nephew, worked for Air Canada and suggested she fly home, which she did. She left the car, never came back again, and my uncles who couldn't register the car beat around with it for a while and just left it. I rediscovered it pretty much as they left it in a friends yard when they subdivided their big city lot. It was towed away and that was that.
My great Aunt lived for at least another ten years and her millions were drained dy unscrupulous nursing home operators. My grandmother had to fly down and pay the funeral bill. She (my great aunt) used to buy a big new Olds 98 every couple of years so that it would make the five thousand mile trip without breaking down. She died broke. __________________