Aunt Anna

All her friends have died off long ago

     Dm                    C
Aunt Anna will turn ninety-nine this year
        C                           Dm
All her friends have died off long ago
     Dm                         C
It's harder these days for Aunt Anna to hear
     C                      Dm
It's harder still for us to know
     F           Em         Bb     Dm
What thoughts go on in Aunt Anna's head.
    Dm             C        Em
Sometimes her eyes seem so alive.
     F            Em            Bb      Dm
This could be the last year for Anna to live,
      Dm           C           Em
We've said for the last twenty-five!
     F          Em         Dm
Aunt Anna still finds it a nice thing to do
   F           Em           Dm
To put all the young people on.
       F          Em            Dm
With a wink and a smile all her mirth will show through
    C                      Dm
And two moments later it's gone.
Mindful Webworks | Best of Spirits | Aunt Anna, page 2
     Dm                    C
Aunt Anna will turn ninety-nine this year
    C                           Dm
Her breath comes sometimes in a wheeze.
    Dm                           C
She burps when she wants like an infant child
     C                  Dm
Aunt Anna has no one to please.
        F        Em     Bb    Dm
And the children cannot comprehend
        Dm       C           Em
And the old ones say she's insane
    F   Em             Bb Dm
And sometimes she's so aimless
    Dm      C         Em
She doesn't know what words to say
      or what games to play
        F       Em        Dm
And I'd love to tell her, no, you're not old,
        F       Em      Dm
And I'd love to see her go on
Aunt Anna stories

Mary Jo's Great-Aunt Anna lived to be ninety-nine years old. It was an honor to know her.

There are many Aunt Anna stories to tell, but I will leave them to those who knew her better. Here, though, are two of my favorites, one from before I knew her, and one of my own experience.

I am told that when President Richard Nixon was resigning, some young person (to Aunt Anna, everyone was a young person) asked her what she thought about it. After a pause, in her creaky old voice, she commented, "He just couldn't believe he got the job!" Probably no political analyst ever summed it up better.

AnnaOne day wife Mary Jo and I were going across the street for some ice cream, and we were "taking orders" from anyone else who wanted some. My mother-in-law, "Bubby," turned to Aunt Anna and asked, "Do you want some ice cream?" Anna, hard of hearing, croaked, "Whaaat?" Bubby repeated the question, "Do you want some ice cream?" and Anna, frustrated a bit by her ailing body as she often was, asked with greater intensity, "WHAAAAT?" At which point, in that way some people do some times, Bubby spoke loudly enough to be heard, but this time changed the question, "DO YOU LIKE ICE CREAM?" The message registered in Anna's face, a moment of startle, a brief look of puzzlement, and then she repeated, "Do I like ice cream?" She looked me right in the eye, winked boldly, and replied, "Noooo, I don't like ice cream." With a wink and a smile all her mirth would show through; and two moments later, it's gone. I'll always remember.