Memory Monday–It’s a thing…
My grandfather had a sister named Ruby. She lived in far-away Ohio and we would go visit her every couple of weeks. On the way to her house, Grandpa would stop at Wendy’s to get us some lunch. Never McDonald’s which is where the best kid’s meal was.
Aunt Ruby was sick all of my life. I didn’t know what was wrong with her, but she slept in a hospital bed at her house and she had to have an oxygen tank. She didn’t get out of bed for anything. We would talk and watch TV with her. She would tell the family stories that nobody wanted told and looking back, I wish I were wise enough and mature enough at that time to take down what she was telling me.
She told a story about taking a man away from another woman because he was old, sick, and rich. Her plan was to get his money, but he ended up living longer than she thought he would and all the money was spent on his medical bills. She told stories about going on riverboat cruises on the Ohio River and tossing her jacket overboard in a brazen attempt to capture the man’s attention. There were even rumors of one of her sisters being a lady of the night. Oh, the scandal!
One particular visit, I knew Aunt Ruby had been in the hospital and she had undergone some sort of surgery, but I had no real clue as to what it was. I went to her bedroom like always and she motioned me over to her bedside. She gave me a green tin shaped like a crayon that had big, fat Crayolas inside.
“Marsha, I had to see the doctor.” She said.
“I know. Grandpa and Mom said you were sick.”
“Yes, I was. My boobs were the problem so I had them cut off.”
I think my mom or grandpa must have ushered me out of the room because I don’t remember making any reply to that comment. I don’t remember being scared or shocked that she had her boobs cut off. She stated it so matter of factly and she didn’t seem any worse off health wise than she had been with her boobs so I guess that made it OK in my child-size brain.
Aunt Ruby passed away in 1986. So, ladies…check your boobs and get your annual mammograms. Don’t let your boobs kill you.