Tuesday, April 29, 2008

104+ Glorious Years

1 week ago tomorrow this world lost an amazing woman. My great-aunt passed away last weekend at the ripe age of 104. It's still surreal to me that I will never see her alive again. So many of my life memories involve her. When we were young, my 3 great aunts were our babysitters. If mom had plans, we were either at the aunts' home or they were at our house. My mom fixed my great-aunt's hair every Saturday. I made $1 off each hair-do. It may not be a get rich quick plan, but I loved that dollar. It went in an envelope in the drawer of my mom's dresser and helped pay for my college. And then there were the piano lessons. And eating corn flakes with brown sugar sprinkled on top. Her last new car was purchased in 1984. It had less than half the miles on it that I have on my car after she drove it for 10+ years. I've had my car for nearly 6. Her hair was the most beautiful shade of white you have ever seen. I pray that my hair will turn white like that. I will embrace my white hair if it is that gorgeous. At her funeral my cousin and I were talking about all she saw in her years. She saw air transportation become a reality. Yet she never flew in an airplane and saw no reason to. She saw the evolution of indoor plumbing, electricity, and the telephone. She taught school for 45 years and only quit because she was forced. To love your job that much takes a special person. And she was. On her 95th birthday she perched herself atop my uncle's Harley-Davidson motorcycle. After all, she and Harley are the same age. She saw numerous presidents, 2 World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and 2 Wars in the Middle East. Woman could not vote when she was born and desegregation was still many years to come. The oldest of 9 children, she buried outlived 6 of her siblings. As I sat at the funeral next to my Papaw, her youngest brother, I thought how blessed I am. So much of who I am today would not have been possible without her. After all, I cannot sing on key to save my life. But because of her, I can read the notes and tell you what they mean. Aunt Grace, thank you for everything, from the $1 weekly allowance to the 7 years of piano lessons, enouragement through college, and support in my post-college adventures. It was my pleasure to know you. May your legacy outlast your life.

1 comment:

Kerri said...

What a beautiful tribute to what must have been a beautiful woman inside and out.