Sadly I don't have a photograph to share with you, but my great Aunt Margie was amazing and I wanted to tell you about her.
Aunt Margie was the youngest of my grandmother's siblings. There were four of them: one boy (my great Uncle Bill), twin girls (my grandmother and great Aunt Fran), and the baby (Margie). Aunt Margie had 3 girls, Barbie, Peggy, and Cindy, apparently she liked that E sound. My aunts had 8 children between them and, last I heard, there are over 10 great grandkids! I think my grandmother was more than a little jealous that Aunt Margie had so many great grandkids, and got to see many of them regularly.
My parents moved to Texas from Missouri after they got married, so we flew up to visit the rest of the family a few times a year and I especially loved spending time with my great aunt and all of her progeny. Don't get me wrong my extended family is all pretty awesome, but Aunt Margie and her brood were something special. First off, there are SO many of them! There's a range of ages, pretty equal mix of boys and girls, and sibling rivalries extended beyond immediate family. Second, they all lived in fairly close proximity to each other so they got together regularly. And thirdly, I think it's genetic, but they were always SO happy! I don't know that I ever saw my Aunt with a frown and if she wasn't smiling, it wasn't far away. That's how the whole family was/is! A smiling, happy, teasing, loud, huge bunch of people who got together, not just because they were family, but because they genuinely liked each other and spending time together! I remember making a video for our great uncle with all of the cousins in the early 80s. Two of the older cousins had just gotten perms, as was the thing to do. They both had shoulder length, blond hair that was then artificially curled. The video started with these two cousins facing away from the camera and someone, I don't remember who, saying, "Now Uncle Bill, guess which one is Greg." Yep, my MALE cousin, not only got a perm, but actually allowed there to be video proof! I wonder what happened to that video...I'm pretty sure if I could find it that I could extort an ungodly sum of money from him now. And that's the sort of thing that Aunt Margie's family did each time we were with them, funny videos, big family cookouts, amusement parks, water parks, picnics, and Aunt Margie was in the middle of it all.
Along with her perma smile, my aunt always had on nail polish. She instilled that in my Aunt Cindy too. Wish that one had stuck with me, but while I really like painted nails, most weekends I can't be bothered to do it.
Well into her 80s Aunt Margie continued to tutor kids even though she had retired from teaching. She also continued driving, despite having taken out a portion of her garage door, which she jokingly said was shrinking.
I wish that I was in Missouri with my family saying goodbye to our amazing Aunt Margie/Grandma/Mom/ teacher/friend, but I am thinking about you all, loving you all, and comforted a bit by the thought that there is a new star in the sky and that she is looking down, smiling, as always, on all of us.
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