A Birthday Tribute

Today would have been the birthday of my great-aunt, Bertha Letitia Smith, known by the family at Auntie Bee or Bee-Bee. She was born in 1902, and was one of the middle children of a family of sixteen kids. She was my maternal grandfather’s older sister.

In some ways, I’m like her. Auntie Bee made some unconventional choices in her life, but never pushed her opinions on others or expected their approval. She was quiet, with a lively sparkle in her eyes. She didn’t mind spending time alone. She loved cats, books, cooking, and word puzzles. Auntie Bee, like me, kept a journal for most of her life.

Auntie Bee and Quester got along great. She got to meet Dryst, but she passed away shortly before ElvenTiger was born, and never knew BlackLion. She was “old” to me the entire time I knew her, one of the respected elders of our family. When I was a child, I was eager to please others and to conform, and it seemed to me that Auntie Bee was more fond of my brother. She slipped him a dollar bill almost every time we saw her, and was amused by his unique personality and funny antics.

It was as an adult that I recognized our similarity, as I forged my own path, living a non-traditional life in many ways. I can see why she was more amused by and fond of those who showed an independent streak. When she was my age, society was more restrictive, but she didn’t let that slow her down. I’m inspired by her example of quiet self-sufficiency. Auntie Bee was a strong and powerful woman. I’m so thankful that I knew her. Happy Birthday!

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