Rosa Parks passed away yesterday at the age of 92. Her laudable act of civil "disobedience" will be remembered forever. On a more personal note, my great aunt Rosie Parker also passed away yesterday. She was very inspired by the life of Rosa Parks, and she modeled herself after that great woman.
When I was a child, my Aunt Rosie used to take me to church with her every Sunday. We rode the city bus to the Presbyterian church a couple miles away from her little yellow house each week, and all the people on the bus knew her by name.
Aunt Rosie, known by many as Rotten Rosie, once refused to give up her seat to a white man on the city bus. I was so proud of her that day. I remember her grabbing his white cane and hitting him over the head with it several times. She was a wonderful woman.
Rosie wasn't afraid of anything. Like Rosa Parks, my aunt defied authority in spite of incredible opposition. When we rode the bus, my aunt refused to give up her seat to pregnant women and elderly people. Once she tripped a veteran as he was trying to board, and she also made mean faces at small children until they cried. Sometimes she would throw peanuts at the back of the bus driver's head in an attempt to distract him and cause a collision.
I remember the way Rosie would strike up conversations with widows on the bus and steal things from their purses as they chatted about the good old days. Rosie had a Bingo habit that wouldn't quit, so the stolen money came in quite handy. She financed several overseas trips for the two of us with her Bingo winnings.
I remember the flight to Fiji very well. Aunt Rosie refused to give up her seat to everyone walking down the aisle. They were just heading to their own seats, but she refused to give up her seat to them just the same. In fact, she refused to give up the two seats on either side of her and had the whole row to herself all the way to Fiji. God, I admired that woman. I remember her refusing to put her seat in the upright position for landing too. She also kept her tray table down and refused to stow her carry-on baggage safely in the overhead bin. Oh, and she slapped the flight attendant for "looking at her funny".
So, my Aunt Rosie is gone. Yesterday she was stealing some Girl Scout cookies from a little girl selling them in front of the grocery store, and a security guard attempted to interfere with my aunt's civil rights. She bludgeoned him with her shoe and was arrested. This caused an incredible strain on her poor heart, and she died peacefully in the back of the police car. We will all miss this woman very much.
Rest in Peace, Rotten Rosie.