I got a card in the mail today, a Birthday card, two months after my birthday-and I LOVED it! Let me tell you why.
I was born in February 1972. I was named after my Aunt, Mary Beth. Aunt MB had a friend, a BFF from Nursing School. Marietta. They chatted almost weekly I think. I only saw her once when she came to Kankakee for a visit. For as long as I can remember–(even in my baby book) I get a card on my birthday from Marietta.
It is always signed simply, Sara Beth…..Marietta and the age I am…this year a 41!!
I hate to admit this–all of my friends were so kind and remembered me on my birthday on fb, with a call or a card–I know I am blessed to have so many amazing people in my life! 1 person was missing though, I really had this thought…were is Marietta? I guess I only get 40 birthday cards! Shame on me!!!
I started thinking about this post, about Mary Beth… she died a few years ago. She was 47 years old, 6 years older than I am right now. She died of breast cancer. She was my Father’s younger sister, a tiny little toehead.
She was a nurse, a teacher, a student and she always made me feel like I was the most interesting person in the world. I have realized I really know very little about her– I wonder of that is because she was so private or just the best listener. She was a cautious person, she worried about me using a steak knife, at 26. She was a fun Aunt! She would gather us all outside when the cousins came to town for a Pinata–only hers were filled with toothbrushes, hair combs and Emory boards. I am now the Pinata Aunt and I never watch the kids squeal without thinking about her.
She took music lessons for like 30 years, played many instruments, piano, guitar, violin, and dulcimer but hardly ever in front of anyone. She got a Clavanova so she could play with headphones and no one would hear her. She earned many degree’s. I think a BSN, MSN, MBA and was working towards even more. She would have me over for sleep overs, show me make up she hardly ever wore. We would watch Ice Skating…she loved watching ice skating. She never married.
She had made a life in St. Louis and when her father got sick, she left it all and came home to take care of him. Poor Grandpa Bernard had 2 nurses fussing over him 24 hours a day. He passed and she and Grandma Margie moved back to St Louis to pick up where she left off. Mary Beth got a mammogram, it was positive, results got sent to the wrong doctor. By the time it all worked out much time had passed and even with chemo it was late…too late.
The last time I saw her I went with my Dad to St Louis. She has lost her hair, she had short little nubs growing back–pure white. I spent the weekend watching my Dad play scrabble with Gramma Margie, MB and Margie fuss at each other about cinnamon toast, watching winter olympics (ice skating) and wondering why I was there. It was time to go and we did little air kisses and she said, “See ya later alligator” I got in the car and realized I forgot my coat. I ran back upstairs and she was on her bed, sobbing. I was a bit surprised. She grabbed me and really, really hugged me told me she was proud to be my Aunt…I said, “I Love you” and she said, “I Love You too!” She went to the window and waved to us as we drove away. I understood why I came. I never saw her again.
All of this story because of a birthday card–How special is it for someone to remember me for 40 years and make me feel special just because she was my Aunts friend, and how great is it to stop and remember the person I did know. Mary Beth must have been a special friend–just like she was a Special Aunt. Thank you Marietta.
P.S. The card was late because it was sent to my last address…Marietta never forgets!