Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Aunt Peggy's Student Nurses Apron

My great Aunt Peggy was someone I occasionally visited when I visited my grandparents in Maryland as a kid. She was my grandmother's youngest sister. Peggy's nickname was "The Queen" because her entire life she managed to only do what she wanted. She worked at the State Department beginning in 1940 for 60 years, never married, never had kids and lived in a small apartment. She never had much interest in me but I was interested in her. She was not boring.

Recently I learned that she had been in nursing school and quit one month before graduation. No one knows why she quit. I get the impression that this was something Peggy did. I did track down the hospital where she worked/studied and it was, at the time, an "insane asylum." Might make me quit too.

My mother was the executive of her estate and brought home boxes of things after her death. My mother is now going through things and disposing of them.  I have become the keeper of her nurses aprons (two), her nursing hat and medical book as well as some photos. This is a work-in-progress. I already see changes I want to make. The silk was dyed with avocado skins. I dyed the hanky bit. The other things were passed on to me. The gloves were mine and wore them to church on Sundays.  And so I continue to contemplate on why we keep the things that we do and what things will my children discover about me when I am gone. I do know I ask a lot more questions of those I love. Have you inherited things that now make you wish you had asked more questions?

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