Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: A Collection of Foxes

Yesterday I woke up to a phone call from my aunt Sherrie, and my kids and I ended up spending the morning with her. We went out to breakfast, and then we did something that was really hard for me. We went over to my great-great aunt's apartment and went through her things, and I got to choose which things of hers that I wanted to take home. In her credenza, a big note was taped over a collection of old photo albums and memorabilia that read: Katie's Korner. All of that was mine for the taking. She wanted me to have all of it. It was exciting for the genealogist in me: my great-great grandparents' marriage certificate, her high school diploma, an old Bible, old photos, but it was all very difficult at the same time, because of what dividing up all of these things meant. It was hard walking through her apartment without her there, even though she is still living, and deciding to divide up her things. One thing I knew I wanted: a fox. Her name is Betts Fox, and over the years she has collected foxes. Other relatives had already come and taken most of the foxes, but I found a painting of a fox by a local artist in a corner, so I took that, and will hang it in my office. So then we took all of the historical items, paintings, and other odds and ends and loaded up my aunt's car, and then we went over to visit Betts at the nursing home. 

Katie Andrews Potter's photo.
Ellie & Micah with their Great-great-great aunt Betts

We surprised her with our visit, and she was excited to see us. She is 94 years old, and even though she may be in her last months, is still as vibrant as ever. She has always been full of life. She is a Euchre queen, has always kept up with her family and old friends, loves sports and her "soaps".

Betts with her nephew, Jim Mulry, playing Euchre at her birthday party

Happy birthday!

Some day I will write out her life story on my blog, but for now, I just wanted to write out about what was going through my mind as we were going through her things yesterday. This coming week I will be seeing her again, and this time, I'm going to record an interview with her about her life story, memories, and the changes she's seen in her life time living in Indianapolis. I'm so grateful to have gotten to know her. And to my family - take the time to go visit her while you still can. She would love the visit. More to come.