Auntie Marie is not my real aunt, and actually she is my Godmother by my parents’ smart decision. She is my special aunt by heart and may not be the famous six-foot model, or the heiress of the Hilton or Kennedy family, or have all the energy of the reality show actress Martha Stewart who demonstrates how to cook and sew all day. My Auntie Marie is a normal woman who loves life and shares a special quality smile to make you feel welcome when you meet her for the first time. I am not going to say that she is the most perfect woman, as all of us have our flaws, or say that she is the greatest woman to ever live in the Imperial Valley, but that she is a genuine woman and a role model to young girls as myself who are trying to be someone or fit in this society.
Auntie Marie is originally from Utah and moved to Texas to finish her studies. During that time her mother became very ill. My aunt decided to stop her education to move herself and mother to a better climate for her mother’s health. Without knowing anybody and being an only child, she selected the warmth of Imperial Valley to bring her five-foot, brown-eyed, young Italian cowgirl-self and her very ill mother to this valley. She worked hard to make her mother comfortable in this new location, but unfortunately the illness took her mother’s life. Auntie Marie remained in the Imperial Valley where she won the heart of my Uncle Robert Greene to become his wife. Even though she says that he wouldn’t leave her alone, I believe she loved him since day one.
My aunt is a very active woman who cherishes all her friends she meets. I know this for a fact because she made time out of her busy schedule as the Senior NDE Technician at CalEnergy Operation Corporation to run across country with a young girl’s expedition to visit Washington, DC and New York with me recently. A group of 22 Imperial Valley mothers and daughters headed to the East coast to be filled with American history. My aunt did not hesitate when asked by my mother if she would like to join us and responded, “I am there, please sign me up!”
This excitement is only the beginning of what was going to happen on our trip. This trip included a tour guide and charter bus all around the Washington, DC area and New York. With only nine girls from the ages of 12 to 14 and the rest mothers and grandmothers, my Auntie Marie took her smile and made an impression on all my friends. She was compassionate for the girls who did not have their mothers with them; she became a role model in giving my friends security about being beautiful inside and out. She never judged my friends as I usually do because I am around them five day a week, seven hours every day. My aunt just joined in all the fun and reminded me that life is adventurous no matter where you go.
Every morning she would get ‘cowgirl-ed up’ and spray glitter all over herself and anyone who wanted to look gorgeous for the day. She used her cell phone app pedometer and measured all the steps/miles we put in each day on our crusade, and it ranged from three to almost nine miles. The entire charter bus passengers became curious by the end of each night and would ask my aunt, ”How many miles did we walk today?” She would respond with a beautiful white smile and so much excitement in her voice the total miles walked.
All I wanted was for everyone to be quiet on the bus, as I was dead tired of walking all day and jet lagged from Pacific Standard Time and not sleeping enough as our days started from 5:00 a.m. and lasted to about 11:00 p.m. each day. My Auntie Marie was very contagious with my friends, and by the end of the week, most of my friends wanted to hang out with her and hold her hand in the busy streets of New York. My friends loved ice skating with my aunt at the Rockefeller Center, and I believe she ice skated better than all us. Not bad for my Auntie Marie, who just turned 50 and hasn’t ice skated since she was young!
My aunt is a very attractive and generous person. I am not referring to the beauty outside but the role model inside that makes her beautiful. She is a very energetic cowgirl at heart who loves her animals, from the dogs and cats to the beautiful, healthy horses she raises. She rides her horse in every parade she can, and you cannot miss her with that smile and happiness surrounding her. The Cattle Call Rodeo is no exception to seeing my Auntie Marie participating as she is there with full spurs on and happy as can be. My aunt is very supportive and generous toward helping me move on in life. She always seems to know that I am working on a project either 4-H or school, and she is there to support me with smiles and hugs, and also financially.
I am very fortunate to have the family I have and most importantly the support of my Auntie Marie and Uncle Robert as Godparents. The best quality of my beautiful aunt is that she smiles, even when not all is well. A smile is worth a lot more than words, as I notice that we are living in a society where we have forgotten how to smile. Every time I see my aunt, there is that smile, the happy glistening eyes and a whole bunch of positive energy to be spread to everyone she is with.