Thursday, November 26, 2009

80

:the age of my Aunt Monica (or Aunt Monie, as we lovingly call her)

Last weekend, I went to the small town of Opp, Alabama to celebrate my aunt's 80th birthday. My gift to her was a list of 80 memories and things that I love about her. As I read the list aloud at her birthday dinner, I realized how small and, perhaps, insignificant many of these things may sound. But I took encouragement from the fact that many of the things I remember about Aunt Monie are the very things I fear my daughters totally take for granted - the home cooked meals, the from scratch cookies - all done with love, and therefore making a mark on my heart that I didn't even know was there. Here's my list for Aunt Monie:

  • The example she sets
  • Serving her church
  • Loving her community through food and prayer
  • Being a part of the fabric of her church's life
  • Teaching me to cook after Bekah was born
  • Chicken & dumplings
  • Homemade chicken stock
  • Making our favorite foods every time we visit
  • Chicken & rice
  • Oatmeal Cookies
  • Hashbrown casserole
  • Sweet potato casserole
  • Oriental salad
  • Opp peas
  • Cornbread (crispy around the edges, of course)
  • Sugar cookies for picky children
  • Cooking for my wedding reception
  • Sand Tarts
  • Cheese straws
  • Making clothes for my girls
  • Little red riding hood capes
  • ABC dresses
  • Wrap around dresses
  • Gingham fish dress
  • Gingham flower dress
  • Velveteen Christmas dresses
  • Seizing retirement as a great time in her life
  • Joy Club
  • Her love of books (may the Lord bless me with a retirement filled with reading!)
  • Traveling to new places
  • Lunches with her sister
  • Shopping with her sisters
  • Hospitality
  • Opening her home to friends and family
  • Keeping kid's toys under her TV long after her own children were gone
  • Opp Christmas
  • Kid's books hidden away for little readers who visit
  • Being a sister
  • Showing me what to expect as a mom of three daughters
  • Listening to her sisters
  • Ignoring her sisters
  • Telling her sisters what to do
  • Sister trips
  • Family values
  • Loving her family sacrificially
  • Going through high school with not just two, but three teenage boys
  • Taking such good care of Uncle Fred
  • The joy of grandmotherhood all over again with Sarah Kate
  • Photo albums full of family pictures
  • Being the family historian
  • Trips to Birmingham and back for treatments with never a word of complaint
  • Keeping every program, every newspaper clipping to document our lives
  • Loving me and my family
  • Snack bags for my girls for the long ride home
  • Letting my girls decorate her driveway with sidewalk chalk bodies
  • Helping me after Bekah was born
  • Coming up to see Anna in The Nutcracker
  • Treating my husband like one of the family
  • Disney placemats for fun at home
  • Visiting us in Nashville
  • Letting our family of five overtake her quiet home
  • Little girls sleeping on your floor
  • Traveling to Wisconsin to help us get ready for a wedding
  • Sister plus Shannon trip on the way home from Wisconsin
  • Happy Memories
  • Tins of cookies waiting
  • Chicken & rice after church on Sunday
  • Uncle Fred's books and hats - fascinating to the young Shannon
  • Sharing 70s jewelry for college dress-up parties
  • Braiding my hair and teaching me how to do it
  • Attending Bible Study with me when she's in Nashville
  • Creativity run amok
  • Painting
  • Sewing
  • Cooking
  • Decorating not just her house, but Deb's, Shannon's, whoever will listen
  • Taking and making time for her family
  • The lives she has impacted with her sweet spirit and example
  • The confidence of seeing her in heaven
  • A life lived to the fullest

J read my list and said with tears in his eyes, "I would like for someone to say these things about me when I'm 80." So my question for you on this Thanksgiving Day is, "How do you want to be remembered?" And are you living your life in an effort to leave fingerprints on the hearts of those you know and love?

2 comments:

rufusjt said...

It was really just dust in my eyes

J

Kim said...

Im a bit emotional right now anyway, but still...