“That Martha”


My Aunt Martha passed away last Friday. Today would have been her 94th birthday.

You may remember from previous posts that there were twelve children in that family. My mom was the third, and Aunt Martha was the seventh. In this photo,  taken around 1922, I’ve highlighted Aunt Martha. My mom is standing directly behind her.

Some time in her childhood, Aunt Martha earned the nickname “That Martha”. I’m not sure exactly how that came to be – I think because she always wanted to be a little different. She “thought outside the box” before anyone coined the phrase.

For the past several years, I’ve felt a special bond with Aunt Martha. She was married on Christmas Day in 1935 in Bacon’s Castle, during the time the family was living there. In 2002,  Motor Man and I were married in the same room.

Many years ago, my mother and Aunt Martha would trade iris corms (the “bulbs”).   Two years ago,  in the spring,  Aunt Martha told me that she still had one of the irises she had gotten from Mom. She shared with me, and this year, it bloomed for the first time in my yard. Now it will be an even greater treasure to me.

Motor Man took this picture of Aunt Martha and me at her 86th birthday party. She was a talented seamstress, poet, artist and gardener – even at that stage of her life.

Aunt Martha was ill in recent weeks when I saw her. So I prefer to remember my last visit with her when she was doing well and made me laugh. I always enjoyed our visits, and came home to type up notes on all the family stories she shared with me. And, coming from a family with twelve children, there were a lot of stories.

Aunt Martha’s funeral was held late in the afternoon on Tuesday. She had told her family that she would like to have a sunset service.  All day on Tuesday, it was overcast. But the sun came out while we were gathered at the cemetery. It came out in time to set. And in time to give “That Martha” her sunset service.

14 responses to ““That Martha”

  1. Even when I heard that “That Martha” had died, I didn’t cry but this did it!
    Thank you…that was beautiful.

  2. What a wonderful story and great memories. You were so faithful to her.

  3. Amazing post. What a tribute ….

  4. I love your pictures. Sorry about your loss. How do you get the pictures and words on the same page?? I’m a beginner. Thanks
    God Bless You and your family. MKirby

  5. Thank you for your love and support especially when you visited us at Riverside. I will always remember the comfort you gave me…our words, hugs and tears. Mama did love her family and yes she did live her way. Sometimes others, even I, did not understand her but she was special and loved us all. What a wonderful tribute to Mama. I am sure she is wondering why all the fuss….I will see her in the flowers and in the sunrises and sunsets, so many cherished memories…..until we meet again. love you,

  6. What a sweet niece you are — and how special your memories must be of this special lady. A very nice tribute.

  7. Such a sweet post, written beautifully. I did not realize that you and JR were married at Bacon’s Castle, what a fantastic day that must have been, and such tradition within the family!

  8. Thanks for the beautiful words and photos for Aunt Martha. I remember being in the hospital when I was younger, feeling very scared and worried.
    In comes Aunt Martha – she always has such an air of confidence about her.
    Just her presence was reassuring. Knowing that she was checking in on me made me feel so much better.

  9. Diane, you should write a book. This story is very sweet and interesting!! Keep it up, I love your stories!

  10. Oh, Dianna – how beautiful. Thank you.

  11. oh, dianna, that’s beautiful. and one of 12. wow, 12! the perfect number in my eyes.
    i can tell she will be greatly missed. my thoughts are with your family.

  12. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    What a lovely story. I know your Aunt is looking down and very pleased with you.

  13. Pingback: Eleven Years | these days of mine

  14. Pingback: Signs Of Spring | these days of mine

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