Wynona was the youngest of many siblings; my grandmother had been the oldest.
And, maybe that is why they were so very different; my grandmother was stern, somber; my great aunt was happy, lively, funny, cheerful. Wynona's life had been much easier than my grandmother's, who was essentially a 2nd mother to all the siblings. First children carry a heavy responsibility, and I assume by the time Wynona was born, life was simpler in the household and she was left to just be carefree.
|My grandmother is in the front row, 2nd from the left; Aunt Nona is right next to her on the far left. Even in this picture, you can see a difference in their dispositions, I think.|
Wynona and her husband, Jess Stephenson, had the most delightful and marvelous relationship; oh, they were fun ones, those two. They did everything together and went everywhere together.
They would bet on the baseball games; they loved baseball. Whoever lost the bet took the other one out for ice cream at the the Frontier Restaurant.
And, speaking of ice cream, Wynona made the best ice cream in the world - bar none! Raspberry ice cream from her own raspberry patch that Jess worked hard on each summer.
Sometimes, Jess and Nona would invite our family of five, six, and eventually seven, over for ice cream. It was a treat; and not just because of the ice cream and brownies, but because they were so delightful; so in love. They treated each other with such respect and kindness...it was an inspiration to watch them interact.
One night, Nona showed us the exercises she did each night before retiring. She was a teeny little petite lady and I can still see her on the floor swinging her legs in exercises!
Their tiny home was always immaculate and so very cheery.
Jess and Nona had three children; their son was their only child who had any children. He and his two sisters lived hundreds of miles away, so Jess and Nona didn't see their children much. But, we tried to see them as often as we could with our busy, hectic lives.
|Wynona Kerr Stephenson on her 50th wedding anniversary...her children threw a grand party for them...|
Eventually, they got old; and could no longer care for themselves. They were put into a nursing home....together....
It changed them. They were not in their beautiful, comfortable home that they had lived in for many, many years...they got weaker, more ill.
And, on 28 June 1988, my wonderful Aunt Wynona died. And, here's the beautiful part;
TWO WEEKS later, my uncle died.
They, who were never separated in life, were now not separated by death.
A true love affair to the end. Oh, how divine!