In a scene at the beginning of the “Lion King”, Zazu the bird is lamenting with Mufasa the lion king about a family member that always spoils special occasions.
That person in my family was my Great Aunt Pearl. She was a widow most of the time I knew her. With no children of her own, she was determined to correct my brothers and myself. We were in constant fear of her and her hurtful words.
She was a leader in the order of Eastern Star. When I asked if she would sponcer me into the organization, she informed me that Catholics were not Christian enough for the Eastern Star. I was crushed. I saw the gowns the ladies wore and I thought it would be a great group to dress up for.
Aunt Pearl corrected my grammer, posture and clothing selections. I learned to avoid her.
She was under 5 foot tall. When one of my siblings grew taller than the petite Pearl her attitude changed towards that brother. They were considered as adult . She started to listen to them.
When I reached a height of 5 foot 2 inches, I was surprised to find a lonely older woman that would request assistance. As she aged, I would take her shopping and help with chores. In the grocery store, she would take the time to smile and talk to the young children. I would wonder, “What happened to the Tyrant?” I found that Pearl was lonely but didn’t know how to make friends.
This was brought home at her funeral. Except for the Eastern Star ceremony, I could count the morners on one hand. I was sad that Pearl put up barriers so she woun’t be hurt.
My lesson from Pearl is I may make mistakes, have to apologize, but I learned to be open with friends and family. I wished that Aunt Pearl had learned the same.
Pearl Was No Jewel
Aunt Pearl, my Grandma’s sister, was a tiny spit fire of a presence.
Having no children, she terrorized her neices and nephews.
She ordered us around and found fiaws with our behavior. We were afraid of her and avoided her visits.
When we grew up and were taller than her five foot frame, she treated us as grownups.
Talking to us in conversations and listening to our opinions.
I was the last to grow tall.
I found a lonely woman that could use some assistance.
Weekly, I took her shopping and to do errands.
Talking with her, I heard her stories of growing up in Canada.
Beneath the prickly exterior, was a Pearl of an aunt.