Happy 100th Birthday Aunt Hilda!

Aunt Hilda-100 bd edI have a large extended family on both sides. In fact it’s so extended that I only get to see my cousins at funerals.

Growing up, a picnic with the “immediate family” would be around 60 people. There were always a lot of kids. Lots!

I only have one surviving aunt and she was 100 years old last week.

Growing up with lots of family around was great. We didn’t lock doors because aunts and uncles lived on the same block. One cousin taught me how to drive a car and another to ride a bike.

Women didn’t work so there was always someone around to see what you didn’t want them to see. Anyone could scold you and that was ok. No one threatened to sue anyone or accused them of anything. In fact parents were grateful that other relatives cared enough to correct.

Those were very different times.

I had two favorite aunts among the group – my Aunt Hilda (my mother’s younger sister) and my Aunt Rose (my father’s younger sister). There were other aunts but I wasn’t as close to them.

My Aunt Rose died many years ago after a bout with Alzheimer’s disease. It was insidious as she didn’t know anyone at the end. She didn’t have any children but she was lucky to be taken care of by two of my wonderful cousins.

My last surviving aunt is Aunt Hilda. I have really fond memories of her and my Uncle George (her husband) as a child. I remember a very special shopping trip to buy a dress for Easter. It came with lunch in the city! Yes, it was a small city but still a big deal for a little kid from the country.

There was a road trip to Niagara Falls and lots of soda. My Uncle George worked for one of the large soda companies. She was a great baker so there was always good food.

There were Easter baskets and gifts at birthdays and holidays. Even more important than the gifts, was the sense of family that she gave me. She reminds me of my mother in that way.

There was an article about her in our newspaper with this photo. She is so beautiful! I hope to be as beautiful as she is — inside and out but mostly inside!

21 thoughts on “Happy 100th Birthday Aunt Hilda!

  1. How absolutely wonderful, Kate. Aunt Hilda is a lovely woman, and I agree with you, beautiful on the outside, but I’m sure a lovely woman on the inside! 🙂 I didn’t have nearly as large a family, but I did have the wonderful opportunity to live next door to my maternal aunt and cousins, as well as my grandmother. I have always thought that experience shaped me more than almost anything else in my childhood. I’m so glad you shared our story about her. It’s always wonderful to have examples of women who live vibrant and inspiring lives turning 100 years old!

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  2. Your Aunt Hilda is truly beautiful and I can tell from the glow that it comes from the inside out! And how special it must be to grow up with so many family around and that sense of perpetual love and caring. This is a wonderful post and a lovely way of saying Happy Birthday to your Aunt Hilda.

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  3. Aunt Hilda looks & sounds like a dear. Lucky you to still have her in your life. If she’s up to it, getting a few stories from her would be wonderful. Imagine all that she’s experienced!

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  4. One of my great memories of Aunt Hilda and family is Sunday mornings after church. Our family subscribed to the Sunday Inquirer and they had the Sunday Bulletin. After church I would spread myself on their living room floor to read their funnies. The Bulletin had better funnies than the Inquirer. I was part of their family on Sundays.

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    • My Aunt Pauline had the stories. Unfortunately, I didn’t get them before she died. She knew all the immigration history on my father’s side. Seems my grandfather was a bit of a character!

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    • There is some longevity with the women in our family. I’ve had aunts that lived into their upper 80s and 90s. Not so much with the men though. My Dad died at 55 and the longer surviving barely made their early 60s.

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  5. What a nice tribute to your aunt. And how very lucky you are/were to have grown up with a lot of relatives. While I did have cousins, I never felt much kinship. I do remember great aunts and uncles coming for a Thanksgiving dinner, but after the meal I was always ready to go out and play and they were ready to go take a nap. I don’t have any of those warm fuzzy memories.

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