My Uncles Wife

She never did seem to belong here, in this world I mean. It was as though she had been dropped off by mistake, maybe from a space ship on its way to somewhere else. Most people, and things, have a category or a niche they fit into, but not she. I always wondered how my uncle, my Father's brother, got so lucky as to have found her. Of course he never knew what he had. But I knew.

She, they, lost a son in infancy, and a daughter, she was six, got run over by a car. The old man, nearly blind never saw her. I did. I was six also. I saw her die. She was still smiling.

Aunt Ella, that was her name, never learned to read or write, only went to the second grade. So I was her teacher, but she taught me much more than I ever taught her.

Aunt Ella raised chickens for meat and eggs, or so she said. All her chickens had names. She couldn't kill or eat something with a name, even I knew that. Nobody else did. That same reasoning applied to the pigs she raised on a bottle. She cried when my uncle sold the pigs. He let her keep the chickens, big deal! Said it was a good thing she didn't name the eggs. I think he was trying to be funny. I didn't laugh.

Aunt Ella liked jewelry. I think she did. That's what we, my sisters and I gave her for her birthdays and Mother's days. She wore all of it everyday. It came from Elmore's Five and Ten, we had big taste, if not good. She showed us where she kept the dress she had made to be buried in. Bright pink polyester knit. She made us promise to put all her jewelry on her. Even wrote it down, printed it real neat, the way I taught her. When the time came, and her wishes were made known, some of the family said it looked cheap. Wanted her dressed "right, and proper" whatever that meant. Who's to say what's right and proper? Well, she won that round. It was high time. Every body deserves to be a winner at least once. I heard someone remark that she was certainly different, a bit odd. I never noticed. I preferred to think she just marched to the beat of a different drum. She marched, I dance, same tune...

By Charlotte Perry
©2015 Charlotte Perry