Friday, September 15th, 2000
Farewell, Aunt Nell
My Aunt Nell passed away yesterday. She was 90 years old. One of
my mothers four sisters, she was probably my favorite aunt when I was growing
up. She had been deaf since she was four years of age having survived a
terrible bout of spinal meningitis. Her long deceased husband, Bill, taught
me to shoot a bow and arrow when I was very young. He was an expert huntsman
with a bow and that was no mean feat as had lost an arm during World War II.
I remember seeing the love between Aunt Nell and Uncle Bill as they signed to
each other with incredible speed and beauty. None of my mother's family ever
learned sign language as they could always make out what, to most people,
must have seemed undecipherable utterings and Aunt Nell wouldn't let them
sign to her…she always wanted to improve her lip reading. She became such an
excellent lip reader that, as my mother once related to me, she laughed
though silent movies in her youth because of all the vulgar words the screen
actors were actually saying (as opposed to the sub-titles on the screen). I
never had any trouble understanding her and thought she was one of the
wittiest persons I ever knew.
I think she was the sweetest woman I have ever known and I know she would be
the first to declare that she lead a complete and fulfilling life.
Rest In Peace Aunt Nell; I shall miss you terribly.
current music: Mozart's Requiem
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