My Aunt Vera

Today is especially a hard day. My Aunt Vera went home to be with Jesus on December 26. Today I will be speaking at her service and this is what I plan to say. My plan is to publish this right before the service. I hope I remember.

My Aunt Vera Jane Fuller Brandenburg quietly slipped away in her sleep. She had spent the last few weeks happier than she has been in a while, seeing family, friends and celebrating her favorite holiday. Quietly was never a word used to describe Aunt Vera. Her loudness was NEVER obnoxious. It was a find everything funny, laugh until you cackle and your sides hurt kind of loud. Growing up in a huge family there was always a lot going on when we would get together. My dad had six siblings, one of which was Aunt Vera. When everyone got together it was a lot! I was always stuck at the kids table but, the adult table would always be where the live action was. Everyone would get to snickering, then cackling and then sounding like a bunch of asthmatics in a room with a thousand smokers. Eventually I would be old enough to get in on the laughter. Most of the time everyone would be laughing at each other or something was said. Most people wouldn’t find it funny but Aunt Vera always did. My conversations with her always had laughter even when she felt bad she would find something funny. I’m proud to say I have that trait but it gets me in a pickle- a lot. 😂😂 Aunt Vera used to tell me “the worst whipping I got was because I was laughing and I couldn’t help it!” Then we both would break out in another fit of giggles.

Aunt Vera was always perpetually late for everything! Meals would be paused and birthday celebrations would be late because we were waiting for Aunt Vera with the cake. Somehow, whether it was because those cakes were always so good or the constant laughter made it easy to forget about the tardiness. My Grandpa Fuller used to say Vera was going to be late for her funeral. I guess today we found out. 😳🤣

Another thing that makes me think of Aunt Vera is a good old clearance rack! This woman could buy you a 12 place setting of fine china for $75 or a designer button up dress shirt for $1.25! I’m not kidding she scoped out the sales, used the coupons and bought things for pennies of the original price. She also loved Costco and Sam’s. Their stock will take a hit since she is no longer here to take her sometimes daily trips. Honey-baked ham lines will be shorter, all nuggets will be whole and hot fudge sundaes will contain the hot fudge. If you know you know! 🤣

All joking aside she would be upset with all of us for crying like we have over her death. She has gone on to a better place where there is no more pain, no more sickness, nor more sorrow and no more death! She is no doubt worshipping at the feet of Jesus right this very moment.

I have been praying over what to say at her funeral. This same scripture has been on repeat in my mind. It comes from the book of Proverbs 31:10, 25-30.

”Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.“…
‭‭”Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over 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 daughters have done well, But you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.“

Aunt Vera was THIS woman, she gave constantly, loved with every fiber of her being and lived a God fearing life. The example of her life is shown in each one of us. Her love is evident by the crowd here today to celebrate her life. It’s up to us to carry on the legacy she has left us with. In talking with my husband this morning about Aunt Vera he reminded me of this poem:

The Dash by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own —
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.
So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more,
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering this special dash
might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read
with your life’s actions to rehash,
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?

I choose to spend my dash living, laughing and loving just like Aunt Vera.

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