Both Beth's uncle and my aunt passed away this past Saturday. Both were quite elderly and had been fighting major physical battles for quite some time. I barely knew Beth's uncle but I did know my aunt Dorothy better than any of my aunts and uncles. As I have reflected on her life, I see a time capsule of my own as I look back 10, 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years, I am astounded at how the sands in the hourglass of life have quickly passed. It is hard for me to believe things that took place 45 years ago were that far back; in my mind they happened 15 years ago.
My aunt Dorothy was a cantankerous woman who could at times be just plain mean. She and my mom alternated between being best friends and bitter enemies. They fought all the time yet they loved each other deeply. My aunt used to ride a big motorcycle and travel all over the country with her friend Cookie . She was never one to let circumstances keep her from doing whatever it was she wanted to do. My aunt was an opinionated, feisty and fiercely independent; but deep inside she was loving and compassionate. I will miss her, as I have since I last saw her in 2009.
None of us can stop the ongoing march of time. All any of us can do is make the most of what time we have available to us in this life. Why spend life sitting on the sidelines, afraid of living? Do we really want the latter years of our lives to be full of regret and thinking about what should have been and would have been instead of basking in the warm glow of what was? When I decided in 2006 to run all over the country trying to help others, I did so because I refused to be intimidated by sense knowledge restraints or the shackles of the past. I will, for the rest of this life, be grateful that God blessed me with a lifetime of wonderful memories in 16 months a few years ago.
I have one remaining uncle who turns 99 next month. Oh how I wish I were physically able to travel to Kansas and sit with him one last time. Unlike many, his memory is still intact and he is able to communicate well. I remember his stories of World War II (he was a captain in the battle to liberate Italy). Those who have lived nearly a century have a treasure trove of wisdom to impart if we will only get them talking.
I remember many of the stories my mom, my aunt and my uncle told of life growing up in rural Kansas during the roaring 20,s and the Great Depression of the 1930,s. Life was so different back then and it would do us all well to pick the brains of those who lived before the technology revolution of the past 40 years. Rest in peace Aunt Dort and all those who have finished the course of this life and are cheering the rest of us on as we near the finish line.
My grandmother had four sisters and my mother had five so I guess you could say that I have my fair share of aunts. :D
Since they lived in different states, I usually only saw them a few times a year and sometimes not even that but it never seemed to matter. Somehow, though there was always a crowd of nieces and nephews when we got together, no one ever seemed to get lost in that crowd either. I remember hearing their voices and their laughter and even their singing, long into the night when we would all get together in Iowa and I remember the stories they told.
I had the privilege of having my grandmother spend every weekend in our home during my teenage years and sharing my room with me. Later, she would spend every summer with me and eventually she lived with my mom until her death in 2005. I am very thankful for the family history I gleaned from her as well as the wisdom she shared with me. We must not let the sands of time slip past us without gleaning the treasures from them.
I am sorry to hear of the loss of your family members. We know the world is brighter because they were in it.
Those who have lived nearly a century have a treasure trove of wisdom to impart if we will only get them talking.
100% true !
I have obtained a wealth of knowledge from the elder the gray.
Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.
Be forever blessed