Ostomy Memories of Aunt Gussie


SHE WAS BORN WHITE BUT, IN HER OLD AGE, turned the texture and color of homemade beef jerky. She spent her afternoons over-exposing herself in the south Florida sun. Even her wrinkles had wrinkles. All the children in the family were terrified of Aunt Gussie, not because she was mean but because of her animated nature. Whenever she visited, she would corner every child in sight, reach down with both browned, flabby arms, grab the horrified child on both sides of the head, and plant a wet, repugnant kiss wherever her lipstick smeared lips landed. “Aunt Gussie’s here,” our mother would sing out, and we would head as fast as we could to the nearest door or window to escape the house. “She smells like beef stew,” my sister complained, and she meant the institutional, canned version. Aunt Gussie made the rounds among the family, from house to house, especially after her dear departed husband, Uncle Harry, left her alone with her Old Country memories and her dust-covered knick-knacks. “Where’s little Henry?” she would call out in her croaky voice, the last words I would hear before jumping out of my bedroom window. I never got in trouble for my escaping, except the time that I was in such a hurry that I left the Playboy magazine on my bed and my mother saw it. For that I caught hell.

Hi Henry.

Reading about your Aunt Gussie reminded me of when I was a child. We had Aunt Ivy. As kids, we used to slide down the grass bank on a black plastic bag or anything else that would create a good slide. In doing this, for some reason, I always ended up getting dirty. Well, one summer day, I went home after playing with the above. Once home, I saw Aunt Ivy, who took one look at the mud all over me and put me in the sink and used the scrubbing brush to get me spick and span. I found it hard to believe she was a nurse as well. I'm sure many of the patients didn't look forward to their bed baths. Lol xx

Henry M Cax67,

I love your stories about the aunts. I think I am becoming one of those old aunts. LOL I am an empty nester now and struggling with it. After looking after kids for 30 years and then what seems like all of a sudden you are alone is hard to adjust to. Anywho.... My younger brother has young children so I am always popping in for visits. I have overheard his kids say "Why is Aunt Sally here again?" LOL But they are great kids....always giving me the hugs I so badly need. xoxo

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Hello HenryM.
We had an aunt Margaret, who wasn't a blood relative but a friend of my mother's so she was an aunt in name only. She was exuberantly kissy and cuddly, which made all us young boys squirm. However, when we had our own first child, aunt Margaret was instrumental in suggesting a name that we could all agree on, so eventually she did have her uses!
Best wishes

Hi all, when I was young we had an Aunt Hazel and her husband Albert, also called Uncle Chubby, who smoked non-stop Camel cigarettes and coughed constantly. Anyway, Aunt Hazel smelled soapy like Ivory and for a little woman, she had a loud, boisterous voice and would holler "HELLOOO" when coming into the house, so we knew who it was right away. Us boys in the family would try to stand next to Aunt Hazel to see if we were taller than a grown-up person. They also had a camp on an inland lake, and the water was always warm for swimming. She would put on a feast/lunch of triangle-cut bologna sandwiches and Kool-Aid that us kids thought was fabulous. When the swimming was done and we were sitting around in the evening, us boys would get out our fishing rods and crappy Zebco reels and fish for perch, hoping to catch a lunker but only catching barely minnow-sized fish.

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister

Hi guys,

We had an Aunt Sandy who would come over on the holidays, and my kids were terrified of her! When she would arrive, they would all run downstairs to the game room and hide. When I asked my son why they always ran away from her, he replied, "Because mom, her hugs hurt!" Apparently, she would rub her scruffy, whiskery face against theirs and scratch them while squeezing the life out of them!
Reminded me of the Eddie Murphy skit about Aunt Bunny!

I was pretty lucky in the "aunt" department. My favourite was my Aunt Rosemary, who was really pretty and very glamorous and worked as a stewardess (no flight attendants in those days). She taught me to "jive" when I was about twelve, which I thought was pretty cool. I did have a weird uncle though. My Uncle Al, who drove both of my parents crazy because he wouldn't stop talking, and never knew when it was time to leave. Subtle hints did not work with him. One of my parents would literally have to tell him they were going to bed before he took the hint. The process of actually leaving was funny to watch and my parents would take bets on how many "false attempts" he would make before he was actually out the door. He was like Detective Columbo, always remembering one more thing he needed to say. My mum always said she felt sorry for his wife, my Aunt Ada, who had to live with him. May they both rest in peace! Good old memories....


I was very lucky in the aunt department. My Aunt Ethel was like a second mom. She was always kind and caring and one of the best cooks and bakers ever.

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