The Wild SideAunt Bea was a black sheep. When anyone refers to Aunt Bea, it's always with the suffix "she was wild, you know." Aunt Bea died tragically when she was quite young, only 32. She was trying to maneuver her big old "new" car (1950 something) back onto the highway when it swerved and she overcompensated, hitting another vehicle and breaking her neck. The emergency crew pulled her out through the window when the door jammed and she died on the way to the hospital. I remember seeing the car, mangled, and the print from her pointed toe high heel shoe imbedded in the brake, and the blood on the green upholstery, just a little trickle down the side. I was 6. It was 1962. I remember seeing her in the casket. Her beautiful red brown curls, her beautiful white gown and the white beads wrapped in her hands. To this day though, I remember bits and pieces about Aunt Bea. I remember her husky laughter and I remember her voice. Aunt Bea loved life. She was divorced, which was a tough thing to be in the 1950's and early 60's. Her family shook their heads and didn't know what to think of her and her wanderlust.
I met an old boyfriend of Bea's forty two years later, quite by accident. My sister identified him. I was only 4, but she was 6 when Bea dated him. No way, was my response, but it was true. A six year old remembers things that other people forget, and she was close to Aunt Bea. She knew. I know Bea's old boyfriend very well now and he tells me stories sometimes of him and Bea and all the fun they used to have together. Bea was 11 years his senior and she quite unabashedly seduced this young man at the age of 19 in her beauty shop. Oh, we had fun together, he told me. He loved her deeply. He was overseas when she died. "Legend has it this man, who is bigger than all of life here, lost his true love in a car accident and he's never been the same." was a story I heard recently.
The older I get, the more I realize that I have that part of Aunt Bea (she was wild, you know) in me. I love life and I love people and love who they are inside, and I think Bea had that too. We can take a lesson from Aunt Bea. There's always more...keep going!