My book, My Ominous Adventures At True Blue Farm, The Secret Behind The Mirror is centered around two very important people who greatly influenced my life, my godparents. Irene Marie Eck Lattig was my Godmother.
The following is an excerpt from the book:As I close my eyes and picture my wonderful Aunt Ree I see a heavyset woman with soft rounded features. Her hair was gray and parted on the side, a bobbed cut with finger waves on her forehead. She always used Palmolive soap and Jergens Lotion and her skin was soft, with slightly rosy cheeks and never a wrinkle. Her eyes were of a transparent blue and she had a cleft type scar on her bottom lip that gave her lips a certain attractiveness like a mole on the cheek does for some women. As a young lady she resembled the Hollywood actress Jean Harlow who was known as the original blond bombshell.
When I was little she had the perfect grandmother look. When we would go outside in the summer she wore a big straw hat and a tea length cotton flowered dress covered with a pinafore apron, which also was of a flowery pattern. Although she never bore children of her own, she sure knew how to make kids happy and holy.
During each visit to her house you heard a sermon daily. You were taught scripture from the Bible and you always said your prayers. On one occasion I can remember her telling us a story about how she had been shopping at a grocery store when a boy was caught shoplifting. She pulled the store manager aside and paid for the item the boy stole and she then proceeded to preach the wages of sin, and the gospel of Jesus Christ and forgiveness to the boy. I’d like to think that she led that boy straight down the path of salvation that day.
She was not only our Great Aunt but she was also the God Mother of each of my mother’s children. She took her responsibility seriously as her faith in God and her Pennsylvania Dutch Lutheran roots influenced her devotion to spreading the gospel to all she met.
Yes, there is no doubt that she had a profound influence on my life, and so did her sudden passing.
On Christmas Eve 1978, she had baked her famous Busy Day Cake, and was reaching into the cellar way for a can of condensed milk on a shelf.* She lost her footing and fell down the cellar steps. She was 77 years old at the time of her fall. She managed to make it back up the steps and into bed.
Christmas morning her leg was terribly swollen and bruised. My brother Buddy went up to see her, and called the squad. She was taken to Warren Hospital. I went to visit her that Christmas day and brought her a small gift, a porcelain child on a sled. I did not know that it would be the last time would see her alive.
On December 30th while I was working as a barber at the Palmer Park Barber Shop, I received a phone call from my sister Ruth Ann telling me that Aunt Ree, our God Mother had passed away. Apparently, she had a pulmonary embolism.
While helping Uncle Bill prepare for an auction sale I found a daily devotional book in her desk, and on the thirtieth of December there was a poem, that ended with these words; "A few more rolling suns, at most, will land me on fair Canaan's coast, then I shall sing the song of grace, and see my Savior face to face." Prepare to meet thy God. Amos 4: 12 *At her wake Uncle Bill served the mourners the cake Aunt Ree had baked on Christmas Eve. She wanted the condensed milk to make an icing. My sister-in-law Joan made an icing for the cake. I tried a piece and I couldn't swallow it, knowing that it was the reason for her falling. It just stuck like a lump in my throat. I have posted the recipe here on blogspot, on August 1, 2009.