Wise Old Woman: Remembering My Great-Aunt Sue

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. 🙂

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6 Responses

  1. Beautiful tribute to a good woman.

    The word “good” is considered common. It isn’t. It’s hard as hell to be good. It’s something I fail at daily.

    Thank you for sharing your aunt “Sue” with us. Your depiction of her is an inspiration and an example.

    I am sorry for our loss.

  2. You made me cry in public.

    Your tribute to your dear aunt reminds me how easy it is to do something simple for someone, and have a profound effect on their life.

    I understand – even though you haven’t seen her lately, losing her makes a kind of a black hole in your life. Your aunt was a W.O.W. and I am sorry for your loss.

  3. She was a wise old woman. She gave of herself.
    How wonderful to have someone that special in your life even now, as you remember her kindness.

  4. I agreed with you

  5. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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