My mom had 9 siblings, 5 sisters and 4 brothers. She was the youngest of them and the last of them to be married, at the age of 32, she considered herself an old maid, but nonetheless, she did get married and then had 3 kids over the next 5 or so years.
Being the youngest, I think she was a bit spoiled. I know she was deeply loved by the majority of her siblings.
She was also teased by her brothers, sometimes mercilessly so that she would run crying to her mother, who would tell her not to listen to them, but she would nonetheless.
Uncle John (her brother) would tease her that his nose was smaller than hers and when she would question him about it, he would measure his nose against hers and he would adjust the size of his fingers that her nose was always bigger than his. It took her a few years to figure out his strategy in always having the smaller nose.
My mom was a young widow, my dad dying when he was only 39 years old. I think her siblings that were in the town where she lived rallied around her and helped out whenever they could, they and my cousins, her nieces and nephews. Being the youngest, and married later than they did, the nieces and nephews were in their teens and older by the time her children came along, so my mom had a lot of babysitters available to her.
Uncle John and Aunt Stella lived about 2-1/2 blocks away from us. Funny, they lived in Sharon, Pennsylvania and a mere 2-1/2 blocks away we lived in Farrell, Pennsylvania. State Street was the dividing street on where you lived; we lived east of it, they lived west of it.
They had 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls. The boys during summer had a portable ice cone making type of machine that they would walk around in neighborhoods to sell ice cones too. Delicious.
They had a house with a basement and one room was dedicated as a train room with a model railroad set up with lots of tracks, scenery, and trains running.
Uncle John worked in one of the steel mills there.
I remember one time getting off the school bus in the midst of a downpour of rain and running to their house with my brother and sister since it was closer than our house. I remember being soaked, yet provided dried clothes and a place to stay until my mom could come and pick us up after she got off from work.
We eventually moved to San Diego. One year Uncle John and Aunt Stella with one of their daughters, Dorothy, came to visit us. He was retired by then, probably in his early 70's. The neighbors up the street from us had a mulberry tree in their front yard, ripe with fruit. Uncle John asked if he could pick the fruit, they were glad to have it gone. He picked the mulberries and made a pie from them; the one and only time I had mulberry pie, but boy was it delicious.
Aunt Stella died first, Uncle John tried to stay in their house, but he eventually needed additional care. He went into a nursing home, reluctantly. He always wanted to return home, to live on his own. His children didn't want that to happen, they figured he was unable to do so. In fact they sold the house without him knowing that they had sold it (not sure how that happened, can't remember that part of the story if it was relayed to me by my mom or if one of the children had power of attorney to do so).
He always asked at the nursing home what he had to do to get to be able to leave the nursing home. To humor him, they told him he had to do this, be capable of doing that, independent with this activity of daily living, etc. He strove to do what was required of him and he reached each and every milestone that they said he needed to do to leave the nursing home.
He was ready to leave, asked them when it would happen. His children told him it would not happen, the house was sold, he would have to continue to live at the nursing home.
Devastated, defeated, he died soon after that at the age of 94.
My mom always thought it wasn't quite fair how it played out; how hard he had worked, how he had been deceived.
I don't have too many more memories of him. I think though he was a good man.........