Day 31:365 Gratitude Challenge and April 19th A to Z Challenge
Today I am grateful for my Aunt Phyllis. Everyone needs an Aunt Phyllis in their life to guide, support, love, and humour them (heavy on the humour part). I usually refer to her as my ‘Crazy Aunt Phyllis’ with the utmost love and respect. She is crazy in the sense that I never know what she is going to do or say next. She is always up to something!
At age 85, Crazy Aunt Phyllis is a free spirit, a storyteller, a shenanigator, a comedian, a legend. In honour of my beautiful Crazy Aunt Phyllis, I would like to share with you some of my favourite stories of her because, as they say, the apple isn’t falling far from the tree.
Once on a crowded plane, she began to feel some ‘turbulence’ in her digestive tract. She thought that by shifting around in her seat, the turbulence would pass but that wasn’t to be the case. She needed relief and she needed it fast because it was a five hour flight. So, she leaned over to one side and very gingerly let the turbulence escape from the emergency trap door. However, she forgot to factor in that she was wearing one of those ‘one piece bloomer thingies’ that went all the way from her top to her bottom underneath her dress.
“Low and behold,” she said, “the fart bubble began in my cheeks and rolled all the way up until it could escape from the top of me bloomers. It tickled my spine the whole way up. I’m surprised it didn’t make me bloomers swell up like a blow fish!”
This is the woman who taught me that the proper way to put a bra on was to slip my arms through the straps, lean forward and line my boobs up with the cups. Then, as I was going to fasten the back, while still leaning forward, I was to wiggle around so that my boobs were perfectly contained within the cups. Once fastened, I could stand up straight, perform one final alignment check and I would be good to go.
“This is how your Aunt Grace taught me and this is how I’m teaching you. There’s no point messing with a system that works.”
To this day, I can’t help but think of my aunt every time I get dressed.
Aunt Phyllis loves to talk and I mean talk. She was the eighth child out of eleven children and she often said, “You had to learn to talk loud and talk fast if you wanted to be heard.”
The problem was that her older sister, Grace, also loved to talk. To guarantee that they each had equal talking time, Aunt Phyllis had an egg timer by the phone with her name written on one end and Aunt Grace’s written on the other. Whose ever name was turned up got to talk until the sand ran through to the bottom. Interruptions weren’t allowed and it was quite a lesson in patience until it was your turn to talk.
When I was in my twenties, my parents not only got divorced but they were also granted an anulment from the Catholic Church. The way I was told it was granted was, “You can consider yourself an ‘it’ now.” I was devastated. I called Aunt Phyllis sobbing on the phone and told her what was said to me.
Her reply? “Well, now, I will happily adopt you because, goodness knows, we aren’t having any little bastards in this famly.”
And that was that.
Almost four years ago, Aunt Phyllis fell in her kitchen and she called 911 for assistance. Never one to lose her dignity no matter the situation, she was quick to take control of it once the paramedics arrived. This, despite the fact that she was concussed, bleeding profusely from a cut on her forhead and from her mouth because she had knocked her front teeth out. Here is how the conversation went down:
Paramedic: That’s a nasty cut you have on your forhead. It is going to require stitches plus you are going to need xrays of your mouth as well as your head because you have a concussion.
Aunt Phyllis: Well, that is all very well and good but I would like to walk out to the ambulance rather than being taken out on the stretcher. I don’t want my neighbours thinking that I am dying.
Paramedic: Ma’am we have to put you on the stretcher as it is procedure. Plus you have a concussion and it will be safer for you to be on the stretcher.
Aunt Phyllis: Young man, I am walking out to that ambulance and will get on the stretcher once I am in the ambulance. If it makes you feel better, I will use my walker to walk out there.
Aunt Phyllis walked out to the ambulance of her own accord and I envision her waving royally to her neighbours on the way, probably telling them that she was fine and not to be worrying about her. “It’s just a little cut. Nothing to be concerned about. Who needs front teeth, anyway?”
Even though she did get on the stretcher once she was in the ambulance, it didn’t stop there for the poor paramedics.
Aunt Phyllis: Now, there is no need to be driving fast or using the sirens for me. I’m not dying so this certainly isn’t an emergency. I don’t want either of you risking your lives for me.
I imagine she probably told them what would be the best route to take to the hospital, too.
I do not know where I would be in my life without my crazy Aunt Phyllis. No matter what curve balls life has thrown at her, and there have been many, she has handled every one of them with dignity, grace and a terrific sense of humour. She has guided me through some of the hardest challenges of my life using incredible wit and wisdom to do so. She is supportive, generous, kind, funny and is the true definition of what unconditional love is. We should all be so lucky to have a beautiful, crazy Aunt Phyllis in our lives.
Crazy Aunt Phyllis: 1