Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hattie (My Good Fortune)

I think the same thing every time I see Hattie - and it's exactly what I thought the first time I met her on the very first day of this class: What a Smile.

It glows from the inside out and warms the room - and when you're anywhere near it, you feel actual "nurturing vibes" (don't you love that description btw? That's what a volunteer wrote me on email after coming to class one day and scoring a seat next to Hattie, it was months ago but I still remember that description because it's so right-on.)

Beauty from the inside out. We all want it. Hattie's got it. What better way to try to get there, than learn from the very best?

Hattie Lee Ellerbe
My Good Fortune

I just ate a fortune cookie….  When I read my fortune, it said, “Your personality is fueled by the fascination you feel for life.”

I am truly fascinated by my life so far.  My zest for life is fueled by my family’s encouragement and patience with me over the past 77 years.  The people I have met along the way have certainly enriched my life. 

My thanks to all who have put up with my twisted sense of humor and corny jokes. 

Love to all.

Hattie Lee Ellerbe

Looking back over my life, it seems incredible that I survived childhood (smile).  I never wanted to grow up.  I wanted to be a little girl and play, play, play.
We grew up with lots of toys and dolls (there were five of us girls).  And, even though we had toys and dolls, we made up games, we had music sessions, singing as Dorothy played the piano.

We had to concentrate on our school work, of course, and sometimes we even played school.

We were supposed to be poor but thanks to the care of our parents (mother died at early age), paternal grandmother and maternal Aunt Belle (in New York), we were wealthy.

Hattie Lee Ellerbe
Ant Bell

When there was a large box marked “special delivery” brought to our house, we were so excited. As young as we were, we knew it was from Auntie Belle* who lived in New York.

*Note: We used to call her “Ant Bell”. She’d ask, “Do you see any crawlers on me? Do I look like a bug or an insect? Don’t call me ‘Ant Bell’.”

The box would be full of dresses, underwear, books and other items she thought we might enjoy. This was always a happy time.
In summer, Aunt Belle would send for the three older girls to come to New York City for the week. Sometimes we would go to visit her for special occasions.

Aunt Belle was very proper and always let us know she was our only “blood-aunt” and the rest were in-laws on our mother’s side. She always referred to our paternal grandmother (who raised us after our mother died at age 28) as Mrs. Hudson and Grandmom called her Miss Belle. Aunt Belle’s packages were always special but her visits were even more special…I’ll write more next time.

Oh, did I mention I have a wonderful son named Keith? (Smile)

Hattie Lee Ellerbe
Guessing Game

In my family, there is a guessing game going on, especially among my grands, and nieces, and nephews.

1.    Who is Grandmom’s favorite?
2.    Who is Aunt Hattie’s favorite?

This is because I whisper to each or them ”You know you are my favorite.”  They laugh as they see me whispering .  My nephew Artie sums it all up by saying…when I die, I am going to have it inscribed on my tombstone…”I know I was Aunt Hattie’s favorite.”  Then he says…Can’t you see my big brother Robert scrambling through the dirt, raising up from his grave to erase it?

Truth be told…You are really all by favorites.  I am so Blessed to have such wonderful children (Karen, Kevin, Keith), 5 grands, 5great grands, one great, great grand and of course my numerous  nieces and nephews.  I am also blessed with two wonderful daughters-in –law.