Sunday, December 8, 2013

Life's Gifts

We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at 
home with the Lord.     II Corinthians 5: 8
Sometimes it takes us years to recognize the gifts God gives us.  I can look back on my younger life and see times when I was disappointed in my circumstances; but now I can see that God's hand was right there on me, through it all, guiding my days and those around me to draw me nearer to Him.  I am thankful!

John's Aunt Cathy did not, at first meeting, seem like a gift in my life.  I was young when I met her twenty-one years ago this month.  She loved her "Johnny" so much and didn't want him hurt by the likes of me.   She made it plain to him (in front of me) that he could take me or leave me.   Now I can laugh at the memory.  Back then, well, let's just say my thoughts towards her fell far short of charitable!   And I begrudged her for that attitude for quite a few years.  Unless someone clued her in to my feelings, I don't think she ever realized.  I eventually grew out of those feelings and understood that she had her heart exactly in the right place when she uttered those words - she was thinking only of her beloved great-nephew who had already suffered  through a divorce.  She did not want to see her boy's heart broken again!  She has always been closer to him than a typical great-aunt, part grandmother, part friend.  

We saw her eight days ago in her home.  We detoured from our usual route home from his mom's house at the end of our Thanksgiving weekend to make a special visit to her and her husband, Uncle Bob.  I am so grateful we did!

She gave me a few more of her special trinkets.  She began gifting me this past summer when she gave me a tiny little book full of poetry about mothers and motherhood; it had been a gift to her from her beloved (deceased) daughter, Jacque.  I was so honored for her to share that with me (of all the people in her life!)  This trip I was given some bells (at least one of those from Jacque) that now reside on my kitchen windowsill and a purse.  She also gifted us with her crockpot.  I cooked our Sunday lunch in that crockpot today, feeling a bit sad.   She was culling and sharing her excess because she and Uncle Bob were planning to move into an assisted living unit this week.  But instead, Uncle Bob found her unresponsive in her bed a few days ago.  She passed peacefully (in Uncle Bob's arms) into eternity a little less than twenty-four hours after he found her.  

Aunt Cathy, you will be greatly missed!   You taught me more about love than I ever realized at the time.  And you taught me also about reconciliation and redemption.   You were a gift in my life and I look forward to seeing you again someday!  In the meantime, you behave yourself and smile your beautiful smile that shines in your sparkling eyes.  I love you!

 P. Catherine Welmer
19 April, 1933 - 6 December, 2013

Pressing on in Him,


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