It's hard to think.
Poss is 95 years old. She is the sister of my Grandma. Family legend is she picked up the nickname Poss because when she was born she looked like a wrinkled up possum and it stuck. Just the Poss part -- no one would dare call her possum!
She's a tough old bird-- always has been. I get the feeling she wanted kids but she and uncle Ed never did.
My mom is the oldest of 8. She spend some years living with her grandparents, which means she lived with poss when Poss was a teen-- and later she lived with Poss and Ed as a young adult. She was living with them when she met my Dad.
Poss has always been a weird mix of older sister and Mother to my Mom. Which means she is like a grandma to me and my siblings . In some ways she's been more my grandma than Grandma was-- we certainly saw more of her and Edie growing up. I remember that when my brother Kit and I visited she would give us baths in her kitchen sink! She would clean her house wearing a t- shirt and panties because it was more comfy.
She loves babies and young kids. Once I hit a certain age I didn't like her , because she didn't seem to like me anymore. It took me awhile to figure out she just didn't know how to relate to a teenager. Admittedly I could be a huge brat. ( still can )
Even when I didn't think I liked her I still loved her. I remember I tried to call her grandma Poss. She said she didn't like it it wasn't right-- Vera her sister was my grandma. She said I shouldn't call
her that but I think she was secretly pleased. I honored her wishes -- but every time I said Aunt Poss it echo-ed as Grandma Poss in my head. I like to think she heard that echo as well.
Don't get me wrong - I loved my Grandma as well but Poss And Ed were special and me and my family didn't have to share her with zillions of other Grandkids like with Grandma Vera. Since my father's parents passed away long before any of us were born-- we needed more Grandparents. Frankly I couldn't ask for better ones.
I feel better now, thinking about her this way. The last couple of years she been in bad health, mostly called old age I guess. The last few weeks she been really confused- she didn't recognize my husband and I think she thought I was my older Sister Gretchie. I thought she was doing ok again or at least not worse but she's not. They are giving her just a few days and she's under hospice care.
I have her name-- her middle name, Amal. It means hope in Arabic. I didn't know this until I went
to Israel on a archaeological dig in 1991. That's not why Poss got the name-- I got it from her of
course -- She got it cause it's a family name passed down for several years. My mom does genealogy and thought for years it was a Indian name -- that was the family story. There is suppose to be a couple of Cherokee 's in the family tree but Mom's never been able to prove it. (This isn't as strange as it sounds -- it was common that if a female Indian married a white man to assume a white name along with the marriage so it's possible and makes it hard to trace. At the time it would have been cause for shame so the family would try to conceal it. Now try to figure it out 150 years later). A
few years ago Mom found out the truth , which I think is horribly funny. Amal is the corrupted form
of a doctor's wife name. I'm not sure why-- but that's a little disappointing compared to hidden Indian blood!
I've always wondered what Poss thought of all of this. I think she would see the humor in it as well.