It’s almost time to teach my private lessons for today and I’m eager to plunge in with the hopes of raising a sluggish spirit.
I like to keep my Christmas cards for opening on the night of Christmas Eve.
Last Friday, the card from my Aunt Joyce arrived. She was always faithful in getting her Christmas cards written out and sent.
A part of me wishes to not open it as this is it. The last card. However, I want to open it because she sent it to me to open so she could let me know she’s thinking of me and that she loves me.
This current hurt is lingering. I didn’t get to visit with her since January and was eagerly waiting the time when neither of us would be compromised with the virus.
This aching and empty sense of no closure will pass. I’m confident in that. In the meantime, the tears continue to flow at any given moment, for no connected reason.
Like Mother, and my grandparents, Aunt Joyce is one of the last family members who knew me since birth. She was always ready for great fun, always offering an ear and shoulder, always a sweet conversationalist and confidant, and my last living link with our family heritage and so many of the treasured stories that I’ve faithfully collected for over forty years.
Now, I’m the one holding all these family tales, hoping to put them into story form so that these beautiful souls, their stories, and their phenomenal humor will never be forgotten by my nieces and nephews, and cousins.
Aunt Joyce was my aunt, but in many ways, a bonus mom, and after Grandma Donna passed in 1992, a bonus grandma. She filled many shoes and wore many hats, not just to me and my family, but her town of Alexandria, Indiana, her church, and the retirement facilities in which she worked and at last, lived and filled with joy. I loved visiting with her, especially in the dining hall to enjoy seeing her raised to rock star status.
Some day, someone might have an unopened letter or card from me. I can only pray the recipient will be filled with the same amount of joy this little lady gave me for 56 years.
Know you are loved, Aunt Joyce…