Aunt Hester and Uncle Herbert (my father's uncle) had a farm with cows, chickens, pigs, etc. They had a big pond with fish and snakes. They put in a HUGE garden every year. Every year, my brother, sister and I would spend a summer week at the farm, escorted by our Granny (my father's mom).
We have the best memories from those weeks. They made sure the city kids had a good time.
I'll never forget Aunt Hester saying "Lawzy me!" when she heard something interesting.
I'll never forget Granny and Aunt Hester sitting down for a cup of coffee and a piece of pie (or cake or a cookie) and talking about various family members. I heard a lot of "Lawzy me's" during those conversations!
I'll never forget Aunt Pearl coming from the "big" city to "do" Granny's hair while we were at the farm. Then, we would all go visit Aunt Ruby, Aunt Opal and Aunt Emma. My great-aunts had wonderful names: Pearl, Ruby, Opal. And my granny's name was Jewel.
I'll never forget Aunt Hester teaching me to gather the eggs from the chicken coop. Or, her sending me out there by myself to get the eggs and the rooster chasing me.
I'll never forget her asking us if we wanted chicken and dumplings for dinner and when we said yes, she went outside and WRUNG A CHICKEN'S NECK!
I'll never forget her "temporarily" shortening one of my dresses so I could wear it to a community get-together and she didn't tell my mom.
Aunt Hester was 94 years old. I last saw her one year ago at Great Uncle Gene's 90th birthday party at the small community center in NW Arkansas. (Coincidently, yesterday was also Uncle Gene's 91st birthday.)
She didn't see or hear so good when I last saw her. I sat next to her and held her hand and said, "Hello, Aunt Hester. It's Cindy."
She turned to me, looking confused. So I said, "I'm Cindy. Billy Wayne's daughter."
She said, "Billy Wayne?" I said, "Yes, Billy Wayne's daughter. Bill and Jewel's granddaughter."
She said, "Oh, Cindy. Lawzy me. How are you?"
I loved that woman.
Rest in peace, Aunt Hester.