Sunday, March 02, 2008

Happy Birthday, Aunt May! Today she celebrated her 90th birthday with a family dinner at her daughter's house. At her request, there was no big party or acknowledgement of the day. That's typical of her--keep everything simple and don't make a fuss.

Ninety years--sounds like a lot and it is, but Aunt May is ninety years young, not old. Yes, she has slowed down, has some trouble getting around, doesn't drive at night and doesn't cook much, but her spirit is young and she keeps her mind active and vital with reading, crossword puzzles and more recently with computer solitaire. I have never seen anyone work as hard as she did, keeping house for my uncle and their four children (plus me); working alongside her husband on the farm; working in the church teaching, cleaning, cooking; catering, running a restaurant. When her parents were sick, she helped care for them. When her husband grew old before his time with a debilitating illness, she faithfully and tirelessly cared for him. Times were not always easy, but I never heard her complain, never saw her give into aches and pains. What a lady! Oh, to be like her!!

The four most influential women in my life were my mother, my college piano teacher, my mother-in-law and Aunt May--especially Aunt May. Often we learn best by being in the presence of someone who has a lot to give. When I lived with her I was too young to care about cooking or sewing or keeping house. But when I grew up and began doing those things for my own husband and family I remembered the ways she did things. I remembered her strength coupled with her gentleness, her sensitivity along side her sense of humor. She has shared her wisdom and advice and her love of life--those things never grow old and neither will she!

I missed the celebration, but I thought about her just the same and I heard her laughter.

Happy Birtday Aunt May. You are the greatest!

Pastor Margaret

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