Today I am sharing a letter that I had written to my dear Aunt before she went to her home in Heaven. Take time to share your heart with those you love. No regrets.
December 22, 2010
To my Dear Aunt Moe
I guess I have finally gotten serious about sending you a letter. I have thought about what I would write to you about on a daily basis. I have thoughts that run through my mind, songs that I hear, and visual memories too many to number. I think a letter of this nature should be shared with family members on a yearly basis. We can never tell our loved ones too many times how much we care about them. Maybe this will be the beginning of a new traditions of Christmas letters for me, who knows.
My earliest memories of you must begin during your dating era with my Uncle James. That was our beginning. I really have no idea how old I was, I only remember being excited about going with you and the family to the “river” to swim after you all were married. I couldn’t tell you who was there, but I can tell you that I remember the laughter. Everyone was having a great time and the river looked as large as an ocean to me. This would be one of my first memories of the laughter that has always been a part of wherever you were. Not just a chuckle, or a quick laugh.. but the good ol “belly laugh” that comes with genuine good family times. I can still hear the music coming from your Daddy’s front porch. I thought it was so wonderful to have your own “band” at home! I am sure your Daddy has to be in charge of something musical in Heaven.
Music. This is when I think of you most. I was in an evening church service when a preacher started singing “Swing Wide the Gates” and I was immediately taken back to the porch swing at Mamaw’s with the huge songbook in our lap, careful not to swing too high to bump the window sill. I think the more verses we sang on “I’ll Fly Away” the higher the swing would automatically go! Singing, and listening. Hoping that one day I could sound as pretty as your voice always did. I will always remember the sadness I felt when you would sing “Six Hours on the Cross” .. or the chill on my arms when “The Third Man” was finished. Music. I think that is where we began. I would later realize that it really didn’t matter if I was great at singing.. God would honor my offering because of how it was offered. I have always been moved by music, and that started with you, Aunt Moe. It has been a most wonderful gift I received in my childhood. I just wanted to thank you, earnestly. You planted that seed, and I am so grateful that you shared that love with me.
I can’t really remember any memories of us, other than good. The excitement of getting to go to the hospital with Uncle James when Little Jimmy was born, and afraid Marybeth wouldn’t love me as much if I didn’t go the hospital to pick her up also when she was born! Remembering watching Anthony play with his trucks in the dirt.. I took for granted all the times I walked down the alley, and there you or Uncle James were…Him under the hood of some car, or you working in the yard, or also under the hood working with Uncle James. I miss the times when we all played in the snow, swam in the pool, or went fishing together. I always thought that was cool. I miss being able to come down that alley and visit for a spell.. and mostly I miss it because I didn’t take time to visit when I had the opportunity to do so. Our time is the best thing we can give one another, and it is also the one thing we seem to be so stingy with.
I refuse to make this letter a “goodbye” but it is only the continuation of our story together. The chapters may end, take a different turn.. but as Christians, we have a “series” and I can’t wait to see what our future memories will be, only that I know they will be eternal. You have been my encourager and inspiration many more times than you knew. You have been that for so many people, more than you will ever know.. You have been the “Iron that sharpens Iron” in so many brothers and sisters in Christ. I know that I have been pretty “dull” at times, and I could always count on you to give me a word from God. There have been many times that I knew all I had to do was call with my prayer request, because I knew you wouldn’t just say you’d pray.. I knew you meant business with the Master. I do not have to tell you what a blessing you continue to be to those around you. I hope that you know. You have been a blessing to me from the time I was a little girl, growing up as a teenager, and now as a grown woman.
I still remember how Daddy’s eyes would light up when he found out you had made yeast rolls or apple crisp or pies. We would always hope that some was left for us to enjoy. Momma tried your recipe, but it was never the same as Aunt Moe’s. I still feel the warmth every time I wear the special apron you sent me with the prayer cloth sewn into the fabric. My family knows something good will be in the oven, when I have my “Aunt Moe” apron on! the memories you have given me will outlast my lifetime, and that of your children and grandchildren, my dear Uncle James, and all the people in your enormous circle of love. The love you gave to my Momma was so dear to us. She loved you so much. It may have seemed to go unnoticed, but it remains with me and Buddy forever. You gave her so much in your relationship. I will never be able to thank you enough for that.
I will close this letter with tears of joy, wonderful memories, and a thankful heart that God has allowed me to enjoy such a wonderful woman in my life. I look forward to the next chapter in our lives, earthly or eternal. I know that they will be great regardless of the meeting place.
I love you so dearly, and know that you have always been a “song” in my heart.. Yes, a song, the tool that God has used so many times to reach my soul. His love is everlasting.
Praying that you will have a wonderful Christmas, continuing to make great memories. You are loved beyond measure…