My Great Aunt Wanted To Wear Her Nightie To Church

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**This article is based on nonfiction by actual events that were witnessed firsthand by me; used with permission.

My great aunt was a fascinating lady who could sit for hours and regale you with stories of yesteryear. As she aged, she began to slip into a form of dementia that sometimes made it difficult to know whether she was telling you something that had happened, or something that was created in her mind.

We took turns sitting with her during her later years and I enjoyed every moment of them. I loved her stories, even if they weren’t quite accurate. It was fun just to sit and talk with her and listen to what she had to say.

Since my great uncle had passed away my great aunt had come to live with us. My great aunt and my great uncle had been devoutly religious and she believed that television was evil, but listening to the radio was okay.

On this particular Sunday, I had my television on as I prepared to go take my great aunt to church. I could see her peering through the crack in the door. I invited her to come out and watch the program with me as I finished filing my nails, but she refused telling me that television was evil.

At long last, she came out of her bedroom all ready for church. “I’m all ready for church” she announced. She was wearing a pretty necklace, a bit of blush and lipstick, her best Sunday shoes, and her nightie.

I was rather shocked and not quite sure what to say to her when she asked me “How do you like my pretty dress?” I paused to collect my thoughts for a few seconds and then replied, “Didn’t you wear that dress last week? Maybe we should find a different dress for this week.”

My great aunt hesitated and looked down at her nightie and smoothed her hand over it carefully. “Well, maybe I did.” she said, “It’s hard to remember these days”.

I smiled knowing that I had creatively disarmed the situation and offered to go and help her to find a different dress in her closet. I helped her put a different dress on and reassured her that she looked very pretty in her dress for church.

We had a few more years to enjoy her before she passed into the next life. This is one of the many happy memories I have of my great aunt.

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Countrymom has been writing online since 2000 on a variety of topics including youth mentoring, addiction, parenting, gardening, advocating for seniors, sustainability, farming & more. She resides on a farm with her family in Northeastern Washington state.

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