Aunt Esther Summers would have been 106 years old yesterday. She died four years ago, just shy of 102.
This is the earliest photo we have of her, seated on the lap of Elizabeth (Miller) Ficklin, her maternal grandmother.
Four years ago today this sainted woman left us….
Rest in peace, Aunt Esther.
Amongst the items I inherited from Aunt Esther is this antique china cabinet. This stood in the alcove in her dining room on Clinton Street in Columbia.
Filled with memorabilia from her life, it stayed with her at Foxwood Springs in Raymore, Missouri until her dying day. And then a month later it found a home in my own dining room.
This china cabinet now holds priceless memories: my mother’s collection of Fireking Jadeite china, Grandma Carter’s formal china, Grandma Blocher’s stemware, a few pieces of Great-Grandmother Blocher’s china, some of my mother’s crystal serving dishes, serving bowls from various relatives, and so on. Plus a lovely bone china set I purchased at an antique store in Indiana 15 years ago.
And sitting beside the china cabinet is my Grandma Carter’s violin.
Some years ago, my youngest sister gave my aged Great-Aunt Esther a book intended for a mother or grandmother to write recollections that could be passed on to others.
Aunt Esther filled out a couple dozen pages, and then said ‘enough.’
I have photos of all of these pages. Aunt Esther has been gone three and half years now, and I thought I might slowly transcribe her writings.
Describe the view from your childhood bedroom.
I shared a rather small bedroom with your grandmother. It was nothing special but it was comfortable and adequate for two girls. A bed, chair, dresser, and a corner clothes closet made from a shelf, rod under it and covered by a curtain.
The view from the window looked out on the farmyard, barn, hen house, smoke house, and a pasture usually full of sheep. There was always something going on, if it was only the old hen in the flower bed!
I’m late in the day, on a day that would have been Aunt Esther’s 105th birthday.
As a reminder of this lovely woman:
I miss her terribly.
So I’m thinking this evening about things that I have collected from family members who have gone on before me.
I am surrounded by objects that belonged to others, and now belong to me. I see these things every day, and touch many of them every day, and they are part of my life now.
In no particular order:
Grandma Carter: her formal china. A living room table. My favorite lamp.
Grandma Blocher: her formal silverware. A chenille bedspread. An antique wall mirror. Various pieces of cookware. A great deal of lovely stemware.
Great-grandmother Slade: a double bed.
Aunt Esther: two wall mirrors. Two lamps. A bedroom suite. An antique platform rocker, now reupholstered in my colors. Some paintings. And in a few days, a china cabinet.
My mother: Fireking Jade-ite dishes. An antique dining room table. An antique buffet.