Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Remembering Aunt LaVerna

"A smile is a window on your face that shows you are home."
-Aunt LaVerna

Grandma (left) and Aunt LaVerna

In my mind's eye, I have a picture of Aunt LaVerna leaning back in her chair, her chin thrown up and her mouth open wide in uproarious laughter.

Aunt LaVerna loved to laugh. She loved people - all people. Even as a child I knew Aunt LaVerna was special because she talked with me (not to me) like she talked with adults.

Plus, she made the best cinnamon rolls. EVER.

Last summer, we said good-bye to Uncle Len, Aunt LaVerna's dear husband and one half of what my mother called "The Dynamic Duo."

Last week, we said good-bye to Aunt LaVerna. Her children said she had waited 11 months to join Uncle Len at the feet of Jesus - and we know they're happy to be together again.

The amazing thing to me is how sad my children were to hear of her passing. Eleven months ago, they met her for the first time at Uncle Len's funeral. That fall, LaVerna moved off the farm to Fairhaven, the retirement community where my grandmother lives.

After that, they saw Aunt LaVerna nearly twice a month. Every time my mom goes to visit my grandma, she takes Isaac and Lydia with her. They love visiting Grandpa Roy and Grandma Nelson, and quickly added Aunt LaVerna to their list of most favorite of people.

When we heard Aunt LaVerna had died, Lydia and Isaac were attending Camp Agape, the day camp at our church. Lydia immediately pronounced, "I don't care if I miss a day of camp. I am going to Aunt LaVerna's funeral. I will miss her!"

(Isaac wasn't quite so sure about missing camp, but I arranged a make-up day for them. He felt very relieved. How could he choose?)

Thursday morning, Lydia said to me, "I remember the last words I ever said to Aunt LaVerna."

"You do? What were they?" I asked.

" ' Thanks.' She gave me a Tootsie-Pop the time we all went to Fairhaven and Daniel & Joel and Aunt Lyn were there."

"What a good memory honey. I know it's sad to say good-bye to Aunt LaVerna. But the good news is that we will see her again in heaven one day. And just think. I bet Aunt LaVerna is mixing up some cinnamon rolls right now and planning a party for us once we're there. And she's not in any more pain, she's not tired anymore..."

"I loved Aunt LaVerna just the way she was," retorted Lydia.

Yes. We all loved Aunt LaVerna just the way she was. But we can still be happy Aunt LaVerna is most likely doing in heaven what she loved to do here on earth - putting the coffee on, pulling fresh goodies out of the oven, and visiting with Uncle Len, and the other family she's been missing.

"Love is the glimpse we are permitted of eternity."
-Aunt LaVerna

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'm Still Here - despite technology

I told my mother this morning, "Now that it's July 20th, I'm ready to work."

The month started out well - our lovely trip to Upper Michigan (see pictures below). We came home and almost immediately had a very short, very devastating storm which knocked out our internet (and cable TV, and home phone) for six days.

We finally got our internet back, and my computer went on the fritz. Big time. Down-for-most-of Monday-and- takes-me-until-2pm-Tuesday-to-fix kind of broken.

All is good now. Whew.

And while I had a computer, but no internet, I had time to upload my vacation pictures. Which are, by now, old news. But you can look at (dare I say, enjoy?) them anyway.