Letter About Auntie Elsie

June 20th, 2002 Leland, Charlotte and Family, I wanted to include a letter in this card to let you know how very sorry I am that my Auntie Elsie (your mother, grandmother and great grandmother) has died and gone to be with God. I wasn’t aware she had recently been ill. When Gerri called me with the news, I was sad about living so far away that I couldn’t just drive to Bakersfield once in awhile and just visit. In fact, Gerri, Evelyn and I, with Marleen and Marisa had already planned to come and visit as soon as I got out there in early August. I finally arranged to be out there for 2 weeks. I understand that they all will be there for the services this weekend. Right now, I do feel a sense of happiness that my mom, Cornelia, finally has both of her dear sisters with her. I can say that those three sisters really impacted all of us (kids) in some manner. They were the ones we emulated because they held the honor of being our mother(s). They were good women who loved their families. I recall so many times, when we all lived near one another, how we could feel their love surrounding us. Even when they were griping at us, because we had done something not to their liking, they did so out of love and concern for our well-being. They wanted only good for us. A few years ago, I wrote a letter to Auntie Elsie and told her how much she impacted my life. It was sort of a “Today is Auntie Elsie Day” (or something to that effect). I hope, Leland, that the letter is still around somewhere, because if it is, I want you to read it again. I’m not sure if Charlotte ever saw it, but if not, I hope she can read it as well. Maybe it would be good for all the kids to hear about how wonderful I thought their “grandma” was. I want all of you to know that she was very special to me because she was there to help — any time. I recall when I would go to her house (while at St. John’s) and eat lunch. She made the best, grilled-cheese sandwich with tomato soup I ever tasted. Then, there was the night she came when my daddy died in the early morning hours. She stayed with us until daylight and just held mom and I, cried and prayed with us. Plus, she always kept an eye on Cornelia after that. I thank God she was there when mom hit her head on the tree stump, got a hematoma, and had to go to the ER. Of course, neither sister knew that their own brother was also in the ER at the same time (Uncle Clemens had 2 aneurisms). I remember when she and Uncle Pete would laugh at me, when I played the piano and imitated your grandma Josie Prewett (I could play her tune by ear)!! I also remember one day before Christmas when she drove out to our house with a big box and asked me to wrap it (I loved to wrap and decorate presents). Leland, it was your “Bicka-Bicka” (your toy washing machine). And Charlotte, I can remember when you and Evelyn were suppose to baby-sit me while our mothers went to Bakersfield to shop. When they got back, I TOLD THEM IN DETAIL the big secret I observed through the keyhole in the door. You and Evelyn were smoking a stupid cigar, then put it out, threw it out the window, then tried to fan the smoke out of the room, spraying cologne everywhere. But you never fooled me! I went right to the window and pointed to that burnt out cigar on the dry ground!! By the grace of God, the ground didn’t catch on fire (likely because it was next to the irrigation valve). Of course, you must know that I loved you both got into trouble. Your mom was likely instrumental in Evelyn not getting the belt to her behind. Actually, it was pretty funny and I remember them speaking in German and laughing about it!! So, those are just a few memories that come to mind at the moment, but I wanted to share them with you again. Please know that though I cannot be there, my thoughts and heartfelt sympathy are with you all. M. Clary August 5, 2002

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