Thursday, October 22, 2009
This past Sunday, October 18, our Aunt Fern passed away.
I'll call her 'our' Aunt Fern because she was just that, an aunt to everyone. Aunt Fern didn't have any children of her own. But she spoiled all of her nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews, and great great nieces and nephews, just like a good aunt should.
She was 95 years old and it was her time. Aunt Fern had been bound and determined to live her life out at home and had done so up until a little over a month ago when sickness had weakened her to the point where she could no longer stay at home and had to spend some time in a nursing home facility. Her time at the nursing home was considered to be temporary, a place where she would stay until she was strong enough to return to her home. Well, she has returned home now, her eternal home with Jesus.
Just as Gabe had some wise thoughts to share when Great Grandpa Verle passed away, he again had some wise thoughts about Aunt Fern.
When we told Gabe about Aunt Fern's passing, he first said, "That's sad, cause we're going to miss her."
And we will miss her. Her playful chuckle, just like a kid who had never grown up. Her giving spirit, always desiring to bring happiness to others. Her timeless sense of humor...oh the stories we can tell about Aunt Fern.
But despite the sadness that lingers as we miss our aunt, there is a joy that we can have in knowing that she is now with our Father in heaven, free of any limits that exist from old age.
"She can see now," Gabe explained to us, as he talked about Aunt Fern in heaven. "She couldn't see very well before, but now she can see everything."
Aunt Fern had lost vision in one eye several years back following complications from surgery to remove a cataract. The loss of vision had left her unable to drive, and had been quite hard for her spirit as a bit of her freedom had been lost. But now, as Gabe talked about, she has all freedom in heaven, free of the limits our bodies experience here on earth.
"And she can eat all the candy she wants now," Gabe continued.
If there's one thing everyone knew about Aunt Fern, it was that she loved candy. And chocolate. I remember when I first met Aunt Fern shortly after Jason and I started dated, we quickly discovered our shared love of chocolate. I can remember her saying, "You're a girl after my own heart." And anytime we visited, she had her chocolates and candies lined up on the table, just waiting for us to share with her.
And then there were her jelly beans.
She would carry jelly beans in her pockets and pull them out by the handfuls to share with our kids, often leaving a trail of fallen candies on the floor behind her. There was no worry in losing Aunt Fern, just follow the jelly bean trail.
"I bet she's eating all the jelly beans in heaven," Gabe said, remembering those candies he shared with his great aunt.
We'll miss you Aunt Fern! And please, leave some jelly beans up there for us!