Happy 100th birthday, Aunt Sue

by Caroline Brown

Today is my Aunt Sue’s 100th birthday. Aunt Sue is my dad’s aunt–my grandmother’s younger sister. My family is small, so I’m closer to my great-aunt than a lot of other people might be. My father’s father died when he was very young, so he and his brother were raised by my grandmother, my great grandmother, and Aunt Sue. I always felt like she loved me best because we share the same middle name. (Her first name is Mary but she goes by her middle name…so now I’ve confessed my own middle name.)

Aunt Sue loved the outdoors. She knew how to milk a cow and pluck a chicken. She loves music and used to play the piano and the violin (don’t dare call it a fiddle). She loved animals, liked to wear hats, and her favorite color has always been blue (which she passed on to me). Until she went to the nursing home, she never wore any other color except blue as long as I knew her. I never saw her wear pants in my life, though now all she wears is pajamas. She always kept kept a flower garden, until about 15 years ago. I always think of her when I see blue morning glories and blue hydrangeas.

Aunt Sue never married, and she never learned to drive. She lived in the same house all her life–by herself for nearly 40 years–until about a year and a half ago, when her health deteriorated and she had a bad fall. She hasn’t been herself since then–most of the time, she doesn’t make any sense at all. But sometimes, out of the blue, she come out of her fog and is as lucid as ever, if only for a little while.

This last picture of Aunt Sue (in the hat) is probably 15-18 years old. That’s my grandmother on the right–she died in 1995 at age 92.

When I think about the changes Aunt Sue has seen in her life, it makes my head spin. If I make it to 100, will the changes that I witness be as momentous?

You’ve had a wonderful life, Aunt Sue–happy 100th birthday!

7 Comments to “Happy 100th birthday, Aunt Sue”

  1. What a milestone! Happy Birthday to your great Aunt Sue , C!!! Give her a hug from me.

    And I agree, what changes she must have witnessed in her long life. Just amazing….

  2. Wow.
    Happy birthday to your Aunt.
    I come from a small family, too. My grandparents and I were especially close.
    Grandma died at 87. Grandpa made 96 before going to a nursing home. He died shortly thereafter.
    He remembered seeing his first airplane in 1910, flying low over his dad’s farm. He lived long enough to see men on the moon and the space shuttle.

  3. Hi G., I’ll pass along the hug.

    Hi Paul, thanks for stopping by. How great that you named your blog after your granpa. I guess younger generations will be saying about us…they were born before there was an Internet! Before email even!

  4. hope your aunt’s 100th birthday was a fabulous celebration! my grandmother and great grandmother lived to be 92. i have an 87 year old aunt now who may outlive them both….she is spry and active and alert and spunky!

  5. Hello, my name is Great-Aunt Sue. Really! I host a radio show http://www.nowlive.com and a website: http://2grandmas.com where we have podcasts. We read stories to kids. My name on there is Great-Aunt Sue.

    I wanted to comment on your blog because in many ways your Great-Aunt Sue sounds like me. I’ve never married, love the color blue and am an independent sort. Kinda like your Sue.

    I’m 56 years old and have 27 nieces and nephews and another 6 great nieces and grand nephews. I’ve insisted on being called Aunt Sue since the very first niece (Natalie) and I’ve adopted quite a few unrelated nieces and nephews along the way. Feel free to be adopted by me.

    Pass my hug on to your own Great-Aunt. hmmmmmm-pfffffff (sound of blowing a hug)

  6. Aunt Sue looks like she was pretty fun back in the day. ( . . . and my middle name is Susan too. Don’t tell anybody!)

  7. Hi Wicked, nice to see you. If only it was as nice as Susan, but it’s really plain old Sue!!! Ugh.

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