As long as I can remember, she’s unchanging. Time seems to smile upon her face, and she responds so cheerfully.
The reality is that she was probably in her 70s during my first memories of her. “Aunt Nancy” was an aunt, or great aunt, or a great-great aunt to basically the entire church except me, so I jumped on the bandwagon too.
Each Sunday, she wheels into church in her trusty old gray car, she sits in the same spot up front, and as she makes her way to the back of church, she always stops “well hello, Kendra how are you?” She’s always full of smiles and doing “just fine”.
I’m often been on the receiving end of her encouragement- notes in the mailbox, kind words sincerely spoken-she has a way of leaving sunshine wherever she goes.
But when I stop and think about it-I don’t know too much about her. I had to ask Mother what her employment had been. I know that she quilts and is quite generous with donating finished products to the local relief sale.
I know she loves company and has a refreshing sense of humor. Last Christmas season, when our group of carolers stopped at her place, Aunt Nancy welcomed us in and requested that we “sing them all, I like all the Christmas songs.” We sang the allotted amount of time and Aunt Nancy was shocked when we started singing the final “we wish you a merry Christmas” tune signaling our departure.
“What?! You haven’t sang ‘Joy to the World’ yet!” The leader appeased her with “ok, one verse.” And imagine our surprise as we came to the end of that first verse, and a fearless soprano took over the leading “Joy to the World the Savior Reigns…” and onto verse three. Aunt Nancy wasn’t about to leave that song unsung.
I know that she’s the youngest of her siblings, and that she’s been alone for some time. Maybe that’s why she’s adopted several people from church. One Sunday afternoon several summers ago, I met that familiar gray car coming in our lane- Nancy had loaded up a stroke victim and his wife “because they needed to get out of the house” and they were out touring the countryside. Mother invited them in for watermelon, and we were rather amused at Nancy being chauffeur for the more elderly, yet much younger couple.
And that’s about all I know about her story. I’m sure she had one-everybody does. But she pours her love into her siblings children and all the generations that follow.
I’ll admit, I was shocked when I received the call that Aunt Nancy was gone.
And I cried.
But they weren’t tears of sorrow. I can imagine the glow on her face as she went to meet her Bridegroom. “Jesus Lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly”
Thanks for being such an inspiration, Aunt Nancy, for being such a gracious example of a fulfilled life. For shredding all the stereotypes about the personality traits of single ladies, and raising the bar a little higher.
Well done, Aunt Nancy, I am so happy for you.
The sunsets/moonrises have been so spectacular recently. Doesn’t it make you wonder how beautiful Heaven must be?
📷 credits for this post: my sister Deborah