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Memories of My Aunt Louise
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One of my favorite memories of my Aunt Louise was riding my bike down to see her when we lived in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. She lived just a couple of miles away from us on Robertsville Road. And when I would go there, she would let me borrow my cousin Dianne’s Nancy Drew books. They were such a treat!

Aunt Louise taught me to care and respect those books and would only allow me to take home just two books a time. And that was after she made me “check them out,” as if they were library books. She had her own sign-in and sign-out library-card system. And kept up with which books I had borrowed that way. Thanks to her motivation and encouragement, I read the entire Nancy Drew series in just one summer!

I remember being invited over to Aunt Louise and Uncle Bill’s house right after our family moved back from living in France. When we sat down to eat our dinner, Aunt Louise asked me to say the prayer in French. Now I had taken a lot of French at the Michelin language lab, but they had never taught me how to pray. So I just made up a little prayer: “Mon Dieu, je vous remercie pour le repas. (God, thank you for this meal). Je vous remercie pour ma famille. (Thank you for my family). Amen.

It was just a simple prayer; something I’d made up. But when I looked over at Aunt Louise, she was smiling from ear to ear. She acted like being able to pray in French was the greatest thing in the world!

When my Grandma Myrtle Dye, passed away, I asked Aunt Louise if she would be my surrogate grandma. Her voice and her mannerisms reminded me so much of Grandma. And of course she agreed. So each Christmas card I received from her after that was always signed, “Love, Grandma Louise!”

Aunt Louise always made me feel like I was very special to her. One time she was flying from Mom and Dad’s home in South Carolina to her home in Kentucky. Her plane had a layover at the Raleigh-Durham airport. She knew we lived in Durham, N.C., so she made sure to call and let me know she had two hours that she could visit with me.

We had a wonderful visit at the airport. I don’t remember everything we talked about. But I do remember we got the giggles. So we sat in the airport and giggled during much of two hours we were together. In fact, that was the day I asked her to be my grandmother. That was the one thing she took seriously that day. And she never forgot her promise to be so much more than my Aunt Louise Booth!

I will miss my Aunt Louise. We lost her just two weeks ago at the age of 84.

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