My maternal grandmother’s sister, Mildred, turns 95 years old today. Aunt Mildred has outlived her sister, her spouses, her friends and all of her cousins—and she's also outlived her own children and spouse's too. Aunt Mildred currently lives on a farm in Ohio, where she’s lived on and off throughout most of her life. She's still sharp as a tack, but she can no longer manage to live there by herself and it's very lonely too.
Above: A 1950's holiday card with a photo of the farm in Ohio.
Mildred's granddaughter, Cherie, and her husband, have a very large house on 4 acres, so they're moving Mildred to live with them at their place, where she will have her own entire floor in their house. My cousins are going to sell the farm, which has been in the family for generations.
Above, left to right: Aunt Mildred in the 1930's, Mr. Peacock (wearing a jacket in black watch plaid with a red bow tie ) with my mother and Aunt Mildred in the late 1960's.
Aunt Mildred was living out West for a while when Mr. Peacock was a toddler and would babysit me—to help out my mom. I wasn’t really a bratty child, but being a Gemini, I was a handful of constant energy and curiosity. I wanted to taste, try and touch everything I could get my little hands on—and I still do. I had my stomach pumped after “trying” a bottle of pills, my sister Carmella watched me eat a grasshopper once and I’ve had too many stitches and scars to even mention here on this blog. To top it all off, I was like the “boy in the plastic bubble” as a child and allergic to almost everything—animals, chocolate, grass, et all. So babysitting me wasn’t always a simple matter. Aunt Mildred is a very calm, petite and elegant person—and she's had the same basic look and style for at least 50 years (whereas my grandmother always desired to be more hip and change her look with the fashion of the times). Mildred was very crafty too, and always had her projects displayed in her house and would tuck little porcelain animals inside the pots of all of her houseplants. All of these "things" were very enticing to Mr. Peacock. Aunt Mildred would never raise her voice at me—she would calmly say to me, “No, no…” If she saw me trying to climb on something she would say, “No, no.” If I would try to get my little hands on her porcelain animals, “No, no…” “No, no…” “No, no…”
Above: This t-shirt illustrates what Mr. Peacock constantly heard from his aunt, when she would babysit him...no, no.
One time when my mother came to retrieve me and go home, she told me to say goodbye to Aunt Mildred and I blurted out, “Bye Aunt No-No.” They both laughed and it became her nickname from that day on. I continued to call her Aunt No-No until I was an adult. We recently chatted on the telephone and she asked me if I remembered what I used to call her as a child...and I immediately said, “No, no…” and we both laughed. I've received a birthday and holiday card, with a check enclosed from Aunt Mildred—every year since I was a child. So Mr. Peacock would like to wish Aunt No-No a very Happy 95th Birthday!