My great-Aunt Dot is legendary in my family.
Now, she has not jumped out of planes (that I know of), or hacked through the Amazon jungle (I don’t think so), or discovered the damn missing link. Her contribution has been more subtle.
Now, let me explain about her: she is a cute, petite, 88-yr-old lady who lives in Atlanta. She has never been married, and in fact, has lived in the same house in the Capital View neighborhood that her father (my great-grandfather) moved his family into in 1939. The neighborhood has had its ups and downs. At one point I think there was some funky stuff going on, and some folks enjoying some crack and the like, but Dot would NOT move. She waited it out, and sure enough, she was GENTRIFIED.
As a matter of fact, you can see her on the website for “The BeltLine”, a high-falutin’ urban park renewal project.
Her stick-to-it-iveness is not why she is legendary, however. This is what she does:
On EVERY holiday, especially on every birthday, she sends a cute card with flowers or kittens or cherubs on it to EVERY family member and in it she encloses… $1. Now please understand, I have quite a large extended family now. She may have started with siblings and cousins, etc., but now…there are nieces, nephews, cousins, their spouses, their children, and at this point…their children’s children and children! I mean, she is in for a lotta dough, not to mention cornering the market on Hallmark.
I took it for granted for a lot of my life, not GETTING it, ya know? Not doing the math. That is until my brother moved to Helsinki, Finland and then London, and he said she never missed a beat. Happy Valentine’s Day, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday… it dawned on me “This is a full-time job.” And always the dollar bill. (Sometimes upgraded to $5 on a milestone occasion. But, I can only speak for myself… )
Throughout life, some years, SOME birthdays…well…let’s just say “It ain’t always so yippy-skippy.” But Dot’s card always arrives, and I know I will get the $1. I am so old now that if I had saved and invested them, I might be a wealthy woman today.
Even though I am old, I recently got married for the first time, and when my husband’s birthday came around, this is what he got: