She was the 13th child. The last. Born August 13, 1913. She was named Rose, which seemed kind of special following Amy, Hattie, Susan, Grace – the few I can remember. And she was a special kind of Aunt. The kind you liked to be around. Although she was a church goer, she didn’t mind being completely honest with us. She told us the family gossip. She was known to tell a shady joke from time to time. She would even include one of those words no one else in the family dared use for fear of the threat of hell. We were very strict Baptists, you know.
Aunt Rose. Aunt Grace. And Aunt Naomi, their niece. When the “religious” folk were in the living room out-sanctifying each other, the “unholy” three would be in the kitchen with us at their feet. Just waiting for some juicy tidbit to drop from their lips to our ears. So we could giggle. And compare notes later. Aunt Rose was a tender, kind hearted woman. She’d let me borrow her church hats when I was older. They never looked quite as good on me as they did on her. She had a son, Charles, who she loved with more love than I’d seen up close. She was touchy feely with him and that was kind of foreign in our family.
Aunt Rose was the consumate baby child, as I recall. And she had many sisters and brothers to cater to her whims and wants, in addition to her husband, Jim. And in true baby child style, when it seemed she’d be left alone, she insisted on having it her own way. Uncle Len died first. First of the last three siblings. And before the week of his funeral was finished, Uncle Dutch died. Which left Aunt Rose. But when the family returned from the services and burial of Uncle Dutch, Aunt Rose went upstairs in his house where the family was gathered. She slipped into Uncle Dutch’s bed and quietly allowed her life to transition to be with her brothers. Within three weeks the last three were gone. Including Aunt Rose.