I told my Aunt Dot that I loved her for the last time the other day. You know, we only have a limited number of times to say this to the ones we love. The last time we visited her, she told us that she wished we could stay. Right now I’m feeling the same way about her.
There are many others who could call her “my Aunt Dot.” When I was growing up, all my friends called her “Aunt Dot” because she had a way of making them feel like one of her nieces or nephews. She was enjoyable to be with because she was fun as well as funny. She taught me silly songs (“T’was midnight on the ocean, not a streetcar was in sight….”). Once when I was visiting her and I wanted to spend more time together she said, “We’ll do that next time you come to visit; it’s always good to have something to look forward to.” That’s still one of my life philosophies.
Aunt Dot was a determined person. She worked with her brother helping run his appliance repair business and when he died, she was determined to keep the business open; a woman in a man’s world. When she was 50 years old, she went back to school and became a nurse. Her example was one reason I went back to school at 54 to complete my degree. One of her roles in the caring profession was home care for a patient with a dreaded disease; a disease that some people felt was judgment for his lifestyle. Aunt Dot did not judge; she loved him, cared for him, prayed with him, and one day led him to the throne of grace. Once again, in her simple way, she was my teacher.
Then there was the time that she asked me to set her digital watch for her. A few months later I asked how her watch was running and she said it was working fine, just that ever since I had reset the time, the alarm was going off everyday at 6:00pm. Apologizing for the misstep, I told her I’d fix it. “No,” she said, “I don’t want you to do that. You see, when the alarm goes off, I’m reminded of you so I stop and pray for you.” Thank you, Aunt Dot.
Aunt Dot was a believer. She was faithful in worship, in prayer, and in living out her faith on a daily basis. We have this in common; we believe that one day we will see each other again. It’s always good to have something to look forward to.