Monday, September 26, 2016

In Memorium: Isabel

Last week, my last Great Aunt passed away.  (Not my aunt in Tennessee.)  She was 93.

Aunt Isabel was the second to youngest of the ten children which made up the Hazlewood family.  She was my grandmother's youngest sister and one of her first students.  Her first career was as a nun.  She was passionate about her faith but the demands of her calling were detrimental her health and she was granted a release from her vows.  Her second career, the one that lasted until her retirement, was as a school librarian.

She was a feisty lady who gave very precise answers.  Some may say she was difficult.

Aunt Isabel and Uncle Garth

She loved New Mexico and life in the small town of Moriarty where she lived for as long as she was capable.  Her home was on the plain on the outskirts of town.  You turned at the pink house to find hers.  Her garden was tidy and she grew the biggest carrots I've seen, many with two or three legs.  Pulling carrots from her garden was a feat of strength and perseverance.  She taught me how to use a weed-wacker.  Her spot of grass was too small to bother with a lawn mower.

She loved to read and loved that I did too.  She gave me my first exposure to Tolkien and Kipling, to Shakespeare and Pearl S. Buck.  When the school where she worked retired books, she would pick out the good ones and pass them to me.  It didn't matter if the books were higher than my grade level. She knew they would be read.

Once, my grandmother wanted to take me on the train.  She and I rode North and Aunt Isabel met us at the train station in Las Vegas.  She drove us back to Albuquerque in her El Camino and we stopped for dinner on the way.  It was a grand adventure to be out with my Grandma and Aunt Isabelle.

Years ago, Aunt Isabel made arrangements for her care.  While it was not diagnosed, to my knowledge, she had dementia; most likely Alzheimer's.  Four of the five Hazlewood women had it.




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