Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I Love You, Aunt Jo!

I was eight years old, and I sat on the steps of her home. I told her that I had learned a new song in school that day -- “Do you want to hear it?” I asked. “Of course!” she said, and I began to sing.

“ This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world: I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.

2. This is my Father's world, the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white, declare their maker's praise.
This is my Father's world: he shines in all that's fair;
in the rustling grass I hear him pass;
he speaks to me everywhere.

3. This is my Father's world. O let me ne'er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father's world: why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

I was attending a Christian school at the time, and this was the song we had learned. And as I sang this to my Aunt Jo, she cried. She hugged me tight and said it was beautiful. But I think her tears went deeper than the song or me singing it --- you see, her sister (my Mom) had just died suddenly, leaving me and my four brothers and sisters motherless, and she was left without her sister. How painful this moment must have been for her! I never forgot it. And this was 56 years ago.

Aunt Jo was special. If I loved anyone through my early childhood, it was this happy woman. She loved us kids, and made each one of us feel special, “one of a kind,” and loved. She listened, was compassionate, caring, and I always felt safe with her. I will always remember how she washed my hair --- tenderly making sure the soap did not get in my eyes, checking the water temperature to make sure it wasn’t too hot or cold, etc. I felt so special.

Life went on, and my Dad eventually remarried. Family happenings caused us all to drift apart, and I didn’t see my Aunt Jo for years and years. I missed her terribly. It wasn’t until I was an adult that we connected again, and I will never forget that hug. She hugged me so tight, and even now I feel that heart connection that I had as a little girl.

This dear lady died suddenly today. I feel like an orphan. Though we did not talk to each other much or see each other often, the memories of childhood kept her close in my heart. I clung to those memories for years and years as one of the few good things I had been given. Why didn’t I call her yesterday? Or last week? Or last month? Why didn’t I find the time to say thank you?


Paula said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Cora... sounds like she was quite a wonderful lady.
Hugs to you today, dear.

Maryann said...

I am so sorry Cora, may your cherished memories and God's loving care comfort you during this time. She sounds like she was a wonderful lady.
Blessings to you

Nancy said...

You have honored her here with your words. I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounds truly lovely.

Kristin Bridgman said...

I'm so sorry Cora! I bet she knew you were thankful. So glad you have those wonderful memories:)
Love and Hugs to you!

Farmhouse Blessings said...

I'm so sorry that your heart is hurting, Cora. I believe that she knows how much she meant to you. Time and distance don't diminish don't things ever!

Hugs, Lea

Kathleen From Yesteryear Embroideries said...

Cora, I am so sorry for your loss, but so glad you have those wonderful loving memories! Hugs to you!

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

My heart goes out to you at this time. I pray GOD will ease your pain. What a touching story, she is blessed.

Jennifer said...

I am so sorry, Cora. Your aunt sounds lovely and tender, just what you needed at the time. Imagine the reunion she is having with your mother now!

Debra said...

My heart goes out to you, dear friend....
Love, Debra

Linda Moser Winebrenner said...

I was grateful to receive your encouraging words on my blog, "Your Word Weaver" - Then, when I went to your blog, I was blown away that you would say such kind things - your blog is so rich and wonderfully written. Your writings are so honest; it makes a (regretfully)less mature Christian feel welcome and accepted. Just like our Lord does.

My grandmother was named Nora, and her sisters were Cora and Lora. A link I like to think.

May the God of all comfort, comfort you in your loss.

Linda Winebrenner

Lea said...

Oh Cora, my heart is with you. Your Auntie sounded so loving and special. I can imagine you singing that beautiful hymn for her. I'm sorry you didn't get to talk to her again. Sending you a hug,
Love Lea

cindy said...

Your love for y our Aunt Jo speaks volumes about your soul. I’m certain that you will be “aunt jo” to some little one in the journey.