We all have family, some you claim – some you claim not to know. 😂😂 My dad was the third in line of seven kids growing up. He was the first sibling to pass away and it was hard on everyone. The siblings, cousins, the whole clan. Being a daddy’s girl it was exceptionally tough on me but I knew first, that Daddy knew Jesus as his Lord & Savior and second, I knew that there was not one second of life worth living on this earth for him. He was ready, he told us such and he wanted to make sure we would be ok. In fact I told him I would take care of Mama but I couldn’t promise not to beat the crap out of my little brother. He said “sounds good” – I am giggling in the quiet of my hospital room now thinking about the perplexed look on his face when I said it so seriously and then paused before busting out laughing. My dad was the comedian in the crowd. Always had something funny to say until you hit that button, you know THE BUTTON that when you were young you immediately regretted hitting. Anyway another time for those stories!
On Monday, after I had determined that I needed to go to the ER, my mom got the call that my dad’s oldest sister died in the night. It was expected, she was in the hospital and had previously chosen not to have drastic measures to save her life. I was devastated but knew that she was better off. You see my Aunt Brenda was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in her 40’s. she has been completely dependent on someone to care for her these last 10 years or so. She was a quiet, giggly, meek, humble, kind and loving woman. When I got sick she called me to see what she could do for me like she could climb out of her bed and cook me a meal! That was her! She fought breast cancer and won, she buried a daughter and survived the grief, this chick had brain surgery while AWAKE to calm the tremors from Parkinson’s like a champ. She was a battle warrior from a bed. Not only that she was the epitome of a Proverbs 31 woman. This describes Aunt Brenda to a T: “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”
Proverbs 31:10-31 ESV
Yep! Aunt Brenda was a true gem. She buried my uncle a little over a month ago who was her primary care giver. When I saw her after he died I climbed up in her bed and laid my head on her chest so I could hold her but you know what she did? She held me instead. She enveloped me in her and arms and hugged me just like my grandma used to. For a moment I was a kid getting a good old grandma hug until (record scratch sound here) my Mama said “what are you doing?” Aunt Brenda & I giggled. I said “I’m getting some Aunt Brenda loving”. Mama said “Well Brenda I love you but I’m not crawling up in the bed with you!” We all laughed. I knew then her heart was breaking and grieving. There was no doubt the love my Aunt Brenda & Uncle Marion had for each other. They were still giddy about each other. There were several times I visited with them I told them they had to stop all that foolishness in front of me or I was going to be sick. They laughed at me and kissed and let’s not forget the giant belly laugh when they looked at my facial expression. Yesterday they laid Aunt Brenda in the ground beside her beloved and I sat at the hospital grieving for our family. I wish I could have been there. Her two sons Darrell & Michael have buried both parents in a little over a month & that’s so not fair but in both cases they too had no life on this earth worth living. I cried most of the morning thinking about my family. My cousin Darrell the least sappy person I know text me early to check on me and the tears just flowed. I love my family. In all our crazy, had seen you in 6 months but it doesn’t matter, you pinched me last I owe you but I love you dysfunction – I love my family! Darrell said it best – in the end we have each other. And we do! After the funeral I had company. Not just a little but A LOT OF COMPANY! We laughed, got teary and laughed some more. Aunt Brenda would have loved it! Heck, I loved it! I’m sure she was smiling down from heaven saying “Look a there Marion & Charles – we did good. My grandparents were probably right there too smiling from ear to ear.
I am a lucky woman because it’s not like that on just one side of my family – the other side is the same way and so is my husband’s. I am surrounded by people who love me and that makes the fight worth fighting! Thanks for the prayers! I hope this hospital stay is coming to a close and we are moving forward. ~ Melynda