Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Last Leaf Fell From The Tree

My brother sent a copy of the family Labor Day photo, taken when he was about three. I think this was a yearly event and, at least this time, everybody lined up left to right, front to back.

There are the patriarch and step-matriarch, the seven adult children, the tribe of grandchildren (I’m not there and Mom doesn’t seem to be showing). If Jim was four, then maybe I’m being tended by my grandmother back home.

Quiet, peaceful Aunt Bea is off to the right. I never knew much about her and she sort of disappeared from our lives. But she was my favourite in those early days and I think of her often.

Frail Aunt Ethel is closer to the center, in front of her Downeast Maine husband Ross. She will become increasingly slim and frail as her life went on. Everybody knew she would be the first to go.

Ethel was the bookkeeper for the family business, the Carten Sand & Gravel Company. We suspected this dear little lady could juggle books better than a circus performer could handle bowling pins. Her brothers and sisters waited her out.

Even the strongest went down as, one by one, they died off. Lastly, Ethel took her secrets with her. The last leaf fell from the Carten family tree.


Post a Comment

<< Home