I got word today that my great-aunt Isabelle “Sue” Dyer passed away last night.
It wasn’t unexpected; her health had been in decline for quite some time. I haven’t seen her since before my husband and I got married, but I still miss her.
Never married, she lived with my great-uncle (my godfather) until he passed away from a heart attack when I was eleven. I think she sort of took over for him when he passed, and I will always be indebted to her for her care and kindness.
When I was struggling to put myself through college, there was a point where I thought I’d never pull it off. I was already working as many hours as possible. I’d gotten special permissions to cram my schedule with extra classes so I could finish my biology degree in 3 years instead of four. My credit cards were maxed from charging tuition, and I had no more ideas on how I could financially manage another year of school.
I was ready to drop out and work for a while in the hope of making it back to finish my degree someday. Then, without my even asking, Aunt Sue loaned me the last money I needed to stay in school.
On the day I graduated, I got a note from her, in which she forgave the “loan” as a graduation present. “Just think,” she wrote. “When you’re as old as I am and people try to call you a C.O.L. (Crazy Old Lady), you can show them your diploma and tell them you’re a W.O.W. (Wise Old Woman).”
I’ll miss you, Aunt Sue. You always WOWed me. 🙂