Fast forward to a Christmas spent with her and Uncle John at his parents’ home in Neligh. Following their time in California, Uncle John worked on a ranch west of town and Aunt Vi cooked for the cowboys. She burnt her hand and asked me at age 13 to help her in the kitchen. This is humorous because neither of us are known for our cooking ability.
I came to Lincoln at age 19 and Aunt Vi lived close to where I worked. Her home became my waiting place between appointments as a single mom or chapter life changes when I needed a listening ear.
She liked to say the women in our family are alike, and she looked on my sister Renee and me as her daughters since she had birthed sons. She often called herself an orphan in her writings. Since we lost our mother at a young age, I’ve also been an orphan since age 29.
We’re likeminded in two major ways. Our love for Jesus and our love of writing. She was proud of me as a novelist and I’m proud of the poetry legacy she’s given us. She wrote a poem for most people that she knew. I’d like to share one that I can relate to.
By Violet E. Ingram
Following a family wedding, July 6, 1991
They are gone – but not forgotten
They were all there – with us tonight.
In their daughters – and their sons
A part of them – is in our sight.
A walk like his – like her, a smile
A remembrance – from our memory file.
A fleeting glimpse – of one that’s gone
In one of their daughters – or one of their sons.
They’re still here – among us today
In our work – and in our play.
A piece of them – remains on earth
And passes on – from birth to birth.
Each generation – a part to share
Or those who lived – before us here.
In remembrance they remain – a part of us still
For in our lives – a place they fill.
To tell us who we are – and where we come from
And where we’re going – when this life is done.
They were there because – we spoke of them
And in spirit – they shared our fun.
In our thoughts and memories – they live on
They will never be – really gone.
Because they live – in you and me
A part of them – for us to see.
Of Grandpa and Grandma – of Mom and Dad
They shared with us – all that they had.
Their intelligence – their talents
Their love of music – and dance.
The rhythm – and singing voice
Is not yours – by chance.
It was passed on – through them
And a part – that’s just mine.
To pass on to – my children
And for all time = a gift.
From a parent – passed on to be
A part of them – for all to see.
Them – our parents
In you – and me.