What? You have never heard me speak of my Aunt Myrtle? How could I have even told you her name, because I did not know she existed until several years ago, when at a family reunion someone put her name on our family tree? Still we were not sure and no one ever spoke of her or gave a hint this person existed or was connected to our family. She is gone and everyone connected to her is gone, too.
Myrtle Levin was born to my grandmother and grandfather and lived just under three years. She was found buried at Salem Memorial Park and Garden with a beautiful aged gravestone stating she died May 10, 1910. Born February 16, 1907, Myrtle was the first child of Dora and Joseph, was a sister of yet to be born, Stanley, Martin, Merriam and Max and Aunt Myrtle to many of us.
After checking all of the vital records and finding that indeed Myrtle is ours, we discussed moving her to the Levin Family plot at 1051 El Camino Real, Coloma, CA 94014. Please visit when you can. With proof in hand and without even time to think, Myrtle was moved to a lovely little spot in the Levin Family plot. We were told that when Mrytle was disinterred, there was still a casket intact with little particles very much in existence. Our family wondered why she had never been moved to join the family, but found that she was buried in a children’s section, which was the way things were done then and in some cemeteries still done. Did the family feel it was better to leave things lie? Did we have the right to move her? Thank goodness it was done the moment both cemeteries heard the story and saw the proof. They took the case in hand and did a most genteel move to right what they deemed a wrong.
It must have been too painful to discuss Myrtle with later generations or were things like a child’s death a sacred secret. Did they think that by not talking about her they would ease or lessen the mourning of this child? Was the shock and disbelief so overwhelming that no words would ever come? Did they think that by being mum they could ease back to a normal life and leave the hurt of this unordered death behind?
Since I do not know and did not know of my Aunt Myrtle until a short time ago, I will have to create her from the part of her family I do know. She was beautiful and had strength budding in her character. Mrytle was intelligent, kind, enterprising, respectful, active, very energetic, aware, balanced, appreciative, affectionate and authentic. She had an outgoing personality. She was resourceful. She had dark hair and big brown eyes. She had a twinkle. Her body was shaped like a spirit, soft and delicate and she had an overpowering will. Myrtle rarely cried or whimpered; she got everything she needed by willing it to be. She left this earth, but not our hearts. Now her aged stone is shining in the sun with her family. Her truth is known.