Aunt Rosemary

by Nancy Thall

Memories of birds, who can think of Aunt Rosemary without thinking of birds? She loved birds and things with birds on them. When I was 14, I moved to California with my family, and we were always going up to the Bay Area. Aunt Rosemary was always very kind and sweet to us, and gave me Christmas presents every year. She came to visit my parents regularly, taking the train to Carpinteria, and she and Mom would be charging off to antique stores or visiting Solvang. Dad remembered her fondly and called her Rosie. After I had moved out, Mom and Dad would often go to the Bay Area, pick up Aunt Rosemary and go touring around the Gold country and surrounding areas. Once I talked to Aunt Rosemary about how stubborn Mom was, and she said that Mom could be “as bucky as  a mule!” Aunt Rosemary also loved to tell and hear family stories and to laugh.
 
After I moved back to the Bay Area, I saw her at Aunt Pat’s, or visited her at Christmas. After her second stroke, when she was living in a nursing home, I would visit her periodically, or a few times when she was hospitalized in Berkeley. I took Dad sometimes, and once Dad, Aunt Pat, and I went to see her while she was staying there. Aunt Pat had the happy thought to bring her a photo album, and she enjoyed looking at the pictures with us, and laughing Aunt Pat’s and Dad’s stories. It was hard to leave as she became sad and cried when we left. I would sometimes meet with my brother Frank half way between Berkeley and Roseville on Christmas Eve, and would stop to visit with Aunt Rosemary on the way back. One year I brought her a Christmas balloon and a card. Later, Maureen told me that they saw the balloon and was asking her who had brought it. After unsuccessfully trying different family names, they handed her a message board, and she spelled my name on it. She was always so happy to see me, and was a kind and thoughtful person.
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