My Aunt Hazel died this past Saturday morning. I am heading to Georgetown, South Carolina via Charlotte, North Carolina on Thursday afternoon.
Hazel Linen came into my life in 1985 when her daughter and I met and became best friends in high school. Hazel was loud and bossy and skeptical of me but I won her over by being terrified of her! LOL After she felt me out, she welcomed me into the family wholeheartedly. I spent A LOT of time at their house, hanging out and having fun. Ms. Hazel allowed me in with no questions asked.
When my family ended up homeless and living in a shelter, she offered to let me move in with her family. My mother wasn't going to let us be separated but she appreciated the offer. I knew then Hazel loved me and that is when she became "Aunt" Hazel. I especially knew she loved me when on my 16th Birthday, she sent her daughter to school with a box full of candy and treats that she got from her job at the candy factory in the Bronx!
My first trip to the South was with Aunt Hazel. I went with her family to celebrate her parents' 50th anniversary. It was my first time traveling past New Jersey. She teased me about being "nice-nasty" while we cleaning up the little house she was selling down there. She laughed at my first experience with a little lizard that scared the mess out of me. She schooled me about not crossing the next door neighbors' front yard to get to the general store because it was "rude" and plus they were racist.
Aunt Hazel was never had a problem giving you her opinion and most of the time, she was right! She gave good advice and never steered you wrong. She was funny and happy and loved living life.
Aunt Hazel was there for all of my major life lessons....my first boyfriend, my first apartment, my first child. She congratulated me on my college graduation. She was happy if I was happy and full of advice and care when I called her for advice.
I visited her when I traveled to Georgetown to attend my best friend's wedding in 2002. She had pictures of me from high school and my college graduation and pictures of my children too.
When I married "Moe" in 2004, she had already retired and moved back home to Georgetown. She and Uncle John had car issues and couldn't make the trip but she sent my present in the mail. My sweet Aunt Hazel made my purse to hold my cards and my garter for my "something blue".
She was a very special person to me and I am glad that she loved me and allowed me into her life. I am blessed to have had her in mine.