Thursday, August 23, 2007
We Shall Miss You
One of the sweetest and most thoughtful women I have ever known passed away this week. My husband's great Aunt Frances. She would have been 96 today.
The first thought I had when I heard the news was that she would be with Uncle Archie now. They were married over 60 years and I do believe they were the happiest married couple that I have ever met. Truly! You could not think of one without thinking of the other - they were like peas and carrots. They were so very much in love and it grew stronger through the years. They did everything together. They loved God. They loved each other and anyone else that had the good fortune to meet them. They never had children but they treated everyone else like they were just as special.
During the holidays they always brought some scrumptious pies from their favorite bakery. The time they invited us up to see footage of their trip to Alaska they served warm apple pie and offered it with cheese on top. I liked it but still prefer it plain or ala mode. It's funny the things you remember, but I had never seen that before. :)
After they retired they traveled and one of their favorite places to go for the winter was out west. It was out there that they fell in love with the native Americans and began to support mission work for them.
They attended the same church in one of our local towns for their entire lives unless they were traveling. She was born in 1911 and her father had been one of the pastors of that church. Uncle Archie's father had been a judge in that same town. They had the gathering after the funeral in the hall of this church and if God ever allows glimpses from heaven down here, then I am sure they were watching yesterday. :)
The pastor was telling me about the church history yesterday. The current structure was rebuilt after a fire in 1936 but the property dates back more than 200 years. There is a small cemetery on the church grounds up on a hill which is visible from the highway. He said they have people from the civil war buried there. My m-i-l said there are relatives buried there. It would be interesting to take a walk around and read the names. Just down the road is the house Uncle Archie was born in which remained in the family until some time in the late 80's or early 90's. A relative was taking a lot of pictures of the surrounding buildings near the church because they will be taking them down to enlarge the busy 4 way intersection that is there now.
Uncle Archie had become frail with Parkinsons and she arranged to have a live in with him at all times. Even though it was difficult she managed to keep him out of the nursing home except for once when he had fallen. I don't remember when he passed away but it was in this decade. She missed him everyday of her life. On some occasions she would look at me with little tears in the corner of her eyes and say. "I miss Archie so much." But that ache in her heart never stopped her from being cheerful and encouraging. She was a gracious woman who always put others first. She did have to go into a nursing home in her latter years but it was a lovely place and no doubt SHE was a blessing to all who encountered her there.
When I think of Aunt Frances the thing that stands out the most is her faithfulness to God. We most definitely had a spiritual connection. Her countenance radiated God's love. She reminded me of the retired school teacher who first taught me about God when I was a little girl. Actually, Aunt Frances had been a school teacher too. I am certain both women impacted many people for the better by sharing their faith in the Lord.
Knowing that my mother lived alone, both she and Uncle Archie always remembered to ask about my mother and included her on our Christmas card.
She ALWAYS sent a lovely thank you note for a gift received or after any occasion that they had been invited over. Even though her eyesight was failing during these latter years she continued to send the thank you notes. Sometimes she would have additional words of encouragement and always she would have a nice scripture verse included. I loved getting a thank you note from her and have saved every one of them.
During her eulogy yesterday the pastor said that hers was easy to do because of the kind of person she was and the life that she had lived. He said there were so many people that had good things to say about her. My husband had said we shouldn't be sad because she had a very good and full life. He was right. She lived life to the fullest and was a blessing to many.
Aunt Frances.... we will shall miss you greatly, but we rejoice in knowing that you are with your two great loves in your life -God and your dear husband. I can just picture your beautiful smile while reuniting with all those you love. I have no doubt that you have heard the words..."Well done thou good and faithful servant." :)