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The lighting of a Memorial Candle not only provides a gesture of sympathy and support to the immediate family during their time of need but also provides the gift of extending the Book of Memories for future generations.
Aunt Rose was born on the farm at Opie to Eddie Lee Callahan, Sr. and Mattie Farrar Callahan. She grew up with an active lifestyle. I heard she would ride.the horses and'' skin the cat'' which means she climbed trees and slid.down. Aunt Rose was a beautiful , gracious, and spirited person. I loved being the ''favorite neice'' ( I was the only neice for 9 years) for I basked in the attention of my childless aunts and uncles. My grandmother and I traveled to New York in a Grey hound bus when I was 10 to visit her. Rose got her boyfriend to ride us around the city on his new convertable. We went to museums , restaurants and plays.
I went back as a young adult. Rose took me to ride at Mountain Valley horse.complex in Connecticut.
Horses were her passion. She rode in hunter paces and fox hunted . Her horse was Mr. Bucks. Whe he aged out she sent him to Uncle Pete for retirement. She fox hunted with me with Triangle Hunt . Aunt Rose had all the best riding gear and was up to date on all the best trainers and race horses.
She was smart. She graduated valedictorian of her class at south hill. Then, she went on to major in English at the Women's College at Greensboro (now UNCG. She taught for three years at Virginia Beach at.Princess Anne High school then she and.her.friend, Mary Richardson, from Bunn NC decided to move to New York city. In New York Rose had a tight cluster of friends that treated each.other as family. Rose worked at.book.publishers including McGraw Hill until she decided to get her.library science degree from UNC Chapel.Hill. . She returned to New York and started working.for the New York Port Authority in about 1970 as a research. Librarian for trade issues. She worked on the 87th floor of.the World Trade center I believe. She was at work when the World Trade Center was bombed in the early 90 's . She and.her.co-workers walked down the flights of steps in the heavy smoke while helping.her friend in a wheelchair.
Rose was in a managerial.position at.the.N.Y. Port Authority when she retired in 1994. She was still living in Manhattan when the World Trade Center was.destroyed. She never would talk about the event. She lost many co-workers and friends that day.
Rose was a caregiver to a best.friend , Kay,when she was suffering from cancer. She was with.mama and me during the last week of my daddy's life (Sullivan Fisher) as he struggled in ICU. She told me when he died that there are burdens during life that are worse than death and that death is sometimes God's grace.
Aunt Rose traveled quite a bit.during.her. retirement often with Uncle Tommy. One trip that caused me some envy was on a horseback riding trip in France. They rode from castle to castle with overnight stays in each.one.
In 2008 the doctors found a tumor in Rose's pancreas. She had serious trouble with anastesia which left her in a temporary coma. Rose's health.started a gradual decline resulting in her need for assisted. living. Her last 6 years were in Tarboro N.C
at the Fountains of the Albemarle. Her sister, Dorothy, was her primary cargiver.during.this time.
Aunt Rose was an inspiration to me. She was not afraid to travel and explore. She loved her family and immediate friends and was very generous with her time. She guided me in New York to show me a different world.