This week one of my aunts passed away; a younger sister to my mom. I didn’t know her well, even though I have known her my entire life. It’s weird how you can be related to someone and not really know a lot about that person. This aunt was someone who I saw twice a year at Easter and Thanksgiving and someone to whom I exchanged the typical pleasantries. But that truly was about it. When my cousin gave the eulogy, I realized that THE woman she spoke of was not a woman that I knew.
My mother was the second born out of four girls. She was closest to her older sister. My aunt that passed was closest to the baby of the family. Therefore, I was closest to my cousins who were the children of my mom’s older sister. My aunt who passed also worked full time, so we did not get together with her much when I was a child. I did not know about my aunt’s salvation experience or even if there was one. I didn’t know what her hobbies were. I didn’t know much about her except that she was a faithful employee of the same company for almost 40 years. I guess I could have tried harder to get to know her after mom died, but there were obstacles that I didn’t take the time to move out of the way. My life was busy and so was hers. I guess it just never occurred to either of us. I realized at the funeral that often times we say we know someone, but we don’t really know them. The people that do know them are the ones who are with them day in and day out.
I have tried to be purposeful in getting to know my niece; she’s the only one I have. I want to make sure that she really knows me. I want her to know I’m not perfect (it doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out) and I want her to know that I love her even though we don’t get to see each other more than a few times a year. We do communicate through email and we talk on the phone every few weeks. I want her to know my hobbies, my interests, my goals in life…I want her to know as much about me as she wants to know. I want to remain friends with her even after my own children have left the nest. I think it is important to pour ourselves into the lives of others and for others to pour themselves into us.
I pray that when it is my time to go, the funeral home will be busting at the seams with people coming to remember what a crazy, funny, sweet, deep, and loving person I was. I hope they will forget about my flaws, for they are many; or at least be able to laugh at them as I do. Most of all, I pray that it is said of me that I lived my life in reckless abandon for the Lord, that I stood my ground on moral issues and didn’t lower my standards when it came to my values, and that people feel closer to Him because they knew me. (I sure hope I have at least sixty more years to accomplish that goal because I’m a long way away from it.)