A Woman of Influence
|My mother's Aunt Bessie in Galveston|
My mother's mother, Prudie, died from a ruptured appendix at age 26, when my mom was 7-years-old, her younger sister, Joyce, was 5, and "the baby"––as they called her until she died at age 43––Syble was 16-months-old.
Aunt Bessie's funeral in Marshall marked the last time my mother and her sisters would ever spend together. They all got drunk.
A Bundle of Inconsistencies
It surprised me every time I saw her let down her hair—thin, silver-gray tresses that reached to her waist got bound and pinned each day in a bun, her crowning glory. Before bed, Bessie would sit on a bench facing the dresser mirror, count aloud 100 strokes using a tarnished silver brush. A rigorous routine. Religious.
|This is me with my great-aunt Bessie and Aunt Syble's Yorkie, Cindy|
Marriages not made in heaven
But in deference to my mother's Aunt Bessie, who made an annual trek from East Texas by train or bus to visit us in Las Vegas, I wore these dresses to school and to church. Like it or not.