A Long Life and Three Cats

It was the end of the day and she could finally sit down.  Her feet hurt and were swollen; even the expensive shoes she purchased didn’t seem to help.  My Aunt Addie waited tables at a breakfast place in the mornings, a lunch place from noon to three and worked at an electronics plant until ten at night.  Daddy always went to pick her at the plant after her shift.  We would sit in the car with the heater on waiting for her to come out.  Even after being up since 5 a.m. and working three jobs she always came out and smiled when she saw us.

Aunt Addie never finished school nor learned how to drive a car.  She walked everywhere she went, work, church, to get her hair done, and later in life when she was in her late sixties, she walked five miles to cook and serve food at a diner.

As I got older, I always would pick her up and drive her places.  Often it brought tears to my eyes to see her work so hard; yet, she was never sad, and she cooked the most amazing meals for me.  She always wanted you to eat, always thought about others more than herself.  She had a photo of herself on the mantle.  She was so beautiful in that frozen moment; still, I could see the pain in her eyes when she took her shoes off and soaked her feet.  It wasn’t always that way; at one time she lived a completely different life.

In the early nineteen-forties, Addie was a single mom living at a resort town near an Air Force base.  It was a frightening time.  Pearl Harbor had been attacked and living anywhere near the ocean was worrisome.  She was raising a daughter alone and that’s why she worked all the brutal hours seven days a week.  She met her husband during the war at the Pavilion in Myrtle Beach before he shipped out.  After the war, he came back to find her and they married on the beach where they first met.  He was an officer in the Army and was from Boston.  His family had visited Myrtle Beach many times during the summer for vacation and he fell in love with what was then a very small coastal town and my Aunt Addie.

He was transferred to Japan where they had a good life; she loved the culture and learned to love fishing.  They eventually came back to Myrtle Beach in the fifties.  For a time, they enjoyed living by the sea where they often fished from the piers and walked along the shore holding hands.  The army moved all their furniture from Japan to their new home, and they always teased me about teething on the beautiful wood trim along the back of their couch when I was a baby.  In the end, the trauma of the war had affected him badly and often he would slip away into his memories which could be unpleasant for all of us.  In the end, he lost his battle with living and passed away.  He would suffer no more.

Aunt Addie never missed a beat.  She went back to working several jobs and got really involved in her church and riding around with mom to deliver meals to people from the church that couldn’t get out to get what they needed.  She took a great interest in cats and there were three of them.  Anytime you went to see her they would be in her lap or following her around the yard.  I saw her walking to work one morning and gave her a ride.  I asked her how she was doing as she was getting up there in age.  She looked at me and smiled saying I have had a long life, three cats and three sisters.  We go fishing every day and we cook together often.  Life has given me all that I could ever need, an abundance of blessings and a long life.

Point Of View

Aunt Addie was an inspiration to me and everything she faced in life was taken in stride.  I have never seen anyone work as hard and yet found time to give back to the community and the people she loved.  The kids called her the walking lady, but she never took offense she just laughed.  In the end, she gave so much to so many.  It was what she did and what she loved.  When her time came, she said to my mom that she hoped they had good shoes and cats in heaven.


Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind. I am a Columnist & Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360 and I have The Writers Café, a group on LinkedIn that features Poets, Writers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians . On Facebook I have two groups and one page; Dirt Road Storytelling, From Abandoned To Rescue Dogs And Cats, and About Life, Love And Living. As writers, it is true that we honestly do not know what we hold within us until we unleash it. When our words inspire others only then will inspiration return to the writer. I will spend my twilight years in search of the next story, the next poem, and the next image. I will take the time to enjoy my Wife, our Dogs, and Cats, and our amazing new home and I will always find the time to walk down a dirt road I truly hope is that I never have to read another book on Leadership, be on a conference call or see another plan o gram as these were the tool for what I did in life and not about who I am.

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  1. Your Aunt Addie proves that the value in a life is not based on anything external. Real value is not about what you know and do but, what you give to others. She lived her life by her own strength and was willing to give more than she received. Aunt Addie is the example to which every family should be Blessed!

  2. What a beautiful story, Larry. Often others lives take on a fond memory in our hearts and they get to be shared with the world long after they are no longer in it. Thank you for sharing Aunt Addie with us. I will remember her often.