Thursday, October 22, 2009

Aunt Fern

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!


Shana Putnam said...

Oh God Bless You. it is so hard to lose a loved one but so sweet when you know where they are going and had such a long time with them.

Anonymous said...

What a wise boy you have. It's hard to believe he is the same guy who sticks his tongue out at Kinz and chases after her :)
What precious pictures you have with {most of} your kids. She seemed like such a wonderful lady. Love the jellybean stories!

juliemk said...

Hey Ang,

sorry to hear about Aunt Fern. She'll be missed, but I'm glad that she is in a better place now. Oh, now I'm thinking of some great Aunt Fern memories. :-) I will always be amazed by the fact that she could ride in a car for over 8 hours and not get out, not even once! That's a skill that I will never have. When is (was) the funeral? Where?

Paige said...

A child's view of death can sometimes be so refreshing while standing in the midst of the pain and heartache. My children pray nightly for my grandfather, who has been sick for a while now and is just not doing well. Their prayers for his peace and comfort are such a comfort to me. I pray you can find comfort in their peace that she is "all better" now!


Unknown said...

I am very sorry for the loss of your beloved Aunt Fern! She sounds like one remarkable lady!

And aren't kids just so smart! Sometimes they just break everything down to the simplest form. Your son is remarkable!

Anonymous said...

When we were in the car on the long drive to the funeral, Thing Two suggested we give Aunt Fern a band-aid and then put some medicine on the band-aid. I guess it hadn't occurred to him that there were things a band-aid couldn't fix. Between Aunt Fern and Grandpa, it's been a sad while.

Jason did a nice job. (I don't know if you noticed the crying, but reminiscing really got to Thing One -- or maybe it was the fact that Thing Two was using his stickers. Yeah, it was probably the stickers.)