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The Only True Genius in the Family - A Novel by Jennie Nash
'My Own True Genius' Essays : Elizabeth Totten, Love Buttons

True Genius Essay Contest Runner Up!

Love Buttons

By Elizabeth Totten

The Only True Genius in the Family by Jennie NashMy Great Aunt Maimee's creative nature inspires me, even today! As a seamstress, Maimee did alterations for the prestigious stores in town. Maimee had to take charge and raise her brothers and sister after her parents passed away. She made meals when the cupboards were bare, made clothes for each, put several of her siblings through college and filled the house with love and happiness.

When I visited, I always sat in Aunt Maimee's living room with a round and shiny tin full of buttons in my lap. My imagination would take flight and I would find ways to play with buttons for hours at a time. One day, the table near the door became my "house" and the buttons were the families who lived there. Some days, I would group similar buttons together. Another time, I would precisely line the buttons like soldiers in a parade.

Several years ago, I realized that Aunt Maimee was one of the adults in my life who encouraged me to be creative. She taught me that if a person is to truly live, they must imagine the life that they want, set goals and work hard to achieve their dream. In honor of her life lessons, I wanted to share that message with my family. I decided that buttons had to be a big part of the gift that I was to share. So, I gathered buttons. The more unique the buttons were, the better it was! Then, I purchased small table top Christmas trees. From each bough, I hung a ribboned button. With the trees, I sent my relatives a message about Aunt Maimee and how she still inspires me to be creative in working towards my goals in life. I hope that each of them lives that message. •

© 2009 Elizabeth Totten