Wordle #17 – Aunt Flo


My Aunt Flo lived three doors up from me. She was an unsightly woman. She was unwashed so much so she was never invited to our house until mum had been to her house to supervise aunt’s bathing. Her house was a pigsty and that was being kind to the house.

Aunt Flo had lived there all her life and had a sentimental attachment to the place. It had been the home of her grandparents; my great grandparents and Flo had inherited it via her parents will.

That included the silver service my mother had coveted all these years and secretly wished to have should Aunt Flo pass away at any time.

My mother was a bit like that, she wore her heart on her sleeve and in matters of family she was loyal as loyal could be. Aunt Flo was one of us and she needed protecting and care and my mum was the one to see to it.

Every Tuesday mum would go up to Flo’s house change and wash all the linen, for Flo did possess the best of linen it could be said.

Aunt Flo maintained that we came from royalty. If Lord Whatisname, she’d say, hadn’t been beheaded in 1067, and if the King in 1645 hadn’t invaded France or somewhere in France then we might have been on the throne instead of the present lot she maintained.

Of course there was never a grain of truth in much of what she said.

Aunt Flo was a font of information about the family. For example if you wanted to know the origins of the great family grudge Flo could speak for hours on the subject. In 1878 Great Great Uncle Alf had upset Great Great Aunt Maud by marrying Esme O’Dwyer a catholic girl from Frog Hollow.

In those days our family didn’t marry anyone who was catholic. Papists were treated like the plague. Identified and driven out of any respectable society. Not only that but Alf was given land by his father and the family didn’t think he deserved it for breaking with tradition like he did. The grudge lasted for years before it became like so much within families a part of the numinous history built around the romantic stories that families like to maintain as part of their rich tapestry.

I spent a lot of my youth sitting with Aunt Flo listening to her many stories. One was about the locket she wore. She claimed it was from royalty, passed down through the generations, and she’d finger it as she spoke as if taking from it the numinous qualities she thought it possessed. She said it brought her luck in life that she’d been loved once, a love she called true love cut short by a malady that ended her lovers life years before it should have.

I don’t think Flo ever recovered from that blow. As the years went by and her health deteriorated I watched as this once feisty woman slowly wilted from age, her get up and go brought to its knees as the years took their toll.

She carried that love which never died to her grave. More than once she told me of the man she had loved, describing him, remembering him as the young man who won her heart and whose death stole her life from her.

It was partly the reason for her untidiness. She stopped caring and lived in a place that once held such promise that never eventuated. In Flo’s world love was alive, just never happened, she waited all those years for death to take her, believing she would be reunited with her one great love.

Aunt Flo was eighteen when her lover died, she had to wait eighty years before her reunion occurred.


Written for: http://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/wordle-17/

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21 Responses to Wordle #17 – Aunt Flo

  1. What an intriguing portrait you’ve painted Michael wow! Fascinating to learn more about your family history as well

  2. Bastet says:

    Poor Aunt Flo … it was great the way you weaved this story taking us through her family history to her last moments … her lost love explaining her detachment for “realities” like keeping tidy! Loved it.

  3. Lyn says:

    That was beautiful, Michael. You have some amazing relatives. Some young people don’t have the privilege and joy of being able to talk with their older relatives. I can remember listening to my Nana’s tales when I was a kid. She married when she was 15 and my granddad was 30. They were still married when he died at the age of 98. My favourite story was the one about what happened when my dad ran away with the circus 🙂

  4. Most wonderful story!
    Can’t wait to
    hear what happens next when she has her reunion..

  5. Great description of your Aunt. I can picture her and almost hear her speaking. How sad that her life was determined by one event.

  6. RoSy says:

    Oh – poor Aunt Flo.
    I have an aunt whose fiancée was killed. She never dated anyone after that. To this day she remains single. She’s in her mid to late 70s.

  7. JackieP says:

    Well Aunt Flo loved with all her heart and stayed true to that one love Good for her! Shame she turned into a not so clean person because of it though. Poor Aunt Flo, can’t help but like her though. Good one Michael.

  8. phylor says:

    No Aunt Flo in my family, but a great or 3rd cousin 5 times removed, Robie, might be considered the male equivalent. He went and lived in the woods as what we would now call a survivalist.
    Great story about a wondrous family. Like you listening to Aunt Flo’s stories, I love to read your family stories.

  9. kaykuala h says:

    A love so true that realities are thrown to the winds. Wonderful write Michael


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