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Mrs. Hunter left a lot of clothes behind

The mailman recently delivered an obituary to my place. It was about Mrs. Hunter. She was 89 — a good age, I’ll say. She was the mother of my first great love.

I was about 17 when I became acquainted with the daughter. Right from the first, I did not like the mother, this old, ugly woman who dressed in old-fashioned clothing, never wore a brassiere and wore her dirty gray hair in a bun at the back of her head. She was very opinionated and always would get her way in everything.

Her husband wasn’t any better. He was small and trivial. He would always sit right next to her and looked satisfied. He traveled for some kind of company that went bankrupt.

The old lady questioned me about everything from the first time we met. Every Sunday I had to visit the family, my girlfriend insisted on this. After a few months, her mother called my mother and asked why her daughter was never invited to our home. After that, we switched back and forth every Sunday.

The romance between me and my great love lasted about two years. The love had been strong at first, sublime and of despair many times. Love can be like that. At times we were like Romeo and Juliet, and then we ended our engagement.

However, for my parents this was not the end of the involvement with the Hunters. After two years, they had gotten used to the habit of coming over to play poker every Wednesday evening at our home. They felt that just because our engagement was over, they should not be deprived of their weekly visit. Every Wednesday evening, my dad would sarcastically say to me as he was looking for the playing cards, “This we can thank you for.”

My dad would greatly differ from what Mr. Hunter advocated during the evening. In order to keep the peace, dad would act kind of silly at times, and the bottle of gin was of great help in this.

When the two women lost their partners, Mrs. Hunter continued to visit my mother once a week. She no longer had much contact with her daughter and rented out rooms in order to get by.

She certainly was not a gentle woman. One time I met her at my mother’s place and she congratulated me for not marrying her daughter. “You would have become very unlucky,” she said. “That girl is much too ambitious.”

When my mother passed away, Mrs. Hunter came to the funeral home and cried for a long time. When she finally stopped, she asked for a memento of my mother. I told her she could come to the house and choose something out of a box of inexpensive jewelry.

She came the next day and took a small gold ring, then displayed great interest in my mother’s clothing. She tried on some things in front of a large mirror. When I asked her what she wanted of it, she answered, “Everything.”

She took a backseat carload to her small rental unit. There was no way she could ever wear out all the coats, dresses and vests. And when I read her obituary, I thought, who is going to wear all those clothes she took?

Tony Antonides lives in Central Point.


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