This was a bad year for Aunts. My mother-in-law lost two sisters and two of my father’s sisters passed away. Cancer. Transplantation. Stroke. Dora fell and hit her head.
Dora was the one whose behavior was least expected. She danced the conga line after a women’s retreat while many sat it out, weighing out if prayer went with dancing. Dora said yes!
The eldest of my father’s five sisters, I didn’t really get to know her until that retreat. I always saw her as stern, and she did like things a certain way. You had to have a salad with your meal. There was no junk food. She tipped to the penny with a calculator. Her beautiful home was the picture of order and femininity.
One of the last things we did together was demolish a computer. The day this photo was taken, Dora asked me if I could get rid of it for her, as she was getting a new one. I said I would throw it in my car and take care of it. My plan was to get it out of her way and turn it into steam-punk jewelry. At 80-something, she looked at me worriedly:
There’s something hard in there that you have to remove, or some can get my information!
I had to think for a minute.
Oh! you mean the hard drive!
Yes, ‘so and so’ said don’t just throw it out.
When we took a screwdriver to it, knowing how she was about recycling, I said:
Are you sure you won’t want any part of this?.
It was at least 7 years old and I really did think I was doing her a favor.
There was no manual and it didn’t come apart like a Dell, an HP, a Gateway or any other computer I had ever seen in my data-driven travels. Dora brought me a hammer.
While we didn’t use the hammer, we may as well have. I piled all the pieces by the trash. At which point dear Dora said to me” “Can’t somebody use any of this?”