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Saying “Farewell” — Part 2 March 19, 2010

Posted by Michelle Knoll in Journeys.
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Once again, I find myself saying farewell.

Not to a person, and not to a house, but to… an era.

Don’t worry!  The world hasn’t come to an end while you’ve been preoccupied!  But in my life, a “change of season” has occurred.

And no, I’m not talking about winter disappearing as spring bursts forth, either.

For those of you who were faithful readers last year, you know all about my mom’s house being destroyed by a tree.  That was a big adjustment for me, because I wasn’t ready to lose the only home from my childhood.  I wasn’t ready for my mom to have to move to another city.  I wasn’t ready to let go of the physical representation of all my childhood memories.

That’s pretty rough stuff.

This time, it’s not as rough an adjustment, but… it is.  No one has died, no trees have fallen, no house has been destroyed, but a big change has happened nonetheless.

My favorite aunt has sold her house, and moved into an assisted living center.

And it just… forces me to think about the passing of time, which is something I don’t like to think about.

Oh, all women laugh and joke about being “29” no matter what their age, but I do not like to think about the fact that I am no longer 29.  Or 20.  Or 14. 

But here I sit, having to think about such things, because my aunt has made the difficult decision to not live on her own anymore.  So she’s sold her house, and moved into a place where she will no longer be alone.  That’s a good thing, to be sure.  But for me it just means… time has moved too fast, and now… the end of a season has come.

I love my aunt, my mom’s only sister.  I love her almost as much as I love my mom.  And with my mom losing her memory bit by bit, it’s hard for me to deal with this change happening in my aunt’s life as well.  It just means… time has slipped away.  Much too fast.

Let me tell you about my aunt, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll get a glimpse of the wonder and the beauty and the fun of “Aunt Zee.”

Now, let’s be real, no one would ever call their daughter “Zee.”  Her real first name is “Euzelia.”  And if I had a daughter, I would be sorely tempted to name her the same name, because it’s a beautiful name!  But even more than that, my aunt is a beautiful person.

My brothers dubbed her “Zee” when we were young, because… they were just like that.  They also dubbed our mom “Mar-Mar” and gave each other nicknames as well (plus a few for me that I will just not talk about, thank you very much).  It was just a thing, a phase we went through I guess.  But it stuck, and our aunt has been Zee ever since.

She has the brightest chuckle I have ever heard.  Her smile can light up a room, and her eyes twinkle with a brightness I’ve not seen in many other people.  I don’t know that I’ve ever heard her sing, come to think of it, but in a way I have, because her voice has a lilt to it that is just heavenly.  When you hear her voice, it just makes your day brighter, you know?

She is always — ALWAYS — happy to see you when you come to visit.  And she is always interested in everything you have to say, no matter if you’re only 2 and can’t say very much, or you’re 25 and want to discuss every political situation that shadows Capitol Hill.  She always shows a genuine interest in your wellbeing, your job, your family, yourself… and no matter what you talk about, you always come away feeling tons better, even if you weren’t feeling bad to begin with!

She is the personification of patience, and hope, and courage.  She has always demonstrated the reality of the verse, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” even when her circumstances were not so good.  And I won’t go into detail, but she’s had some rough times in her life.  Yet she has lived the verse that says, “for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”  That’s just the way she is.  Always positive.  Granted, I’ve seen her quiet, or thoughtful, or maybe ever-so-slightly sad, but she never stayed that way for long.

I can think of another set of verses that describe Zee to a “Tee”:

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days, and years of life and peace they will add to you.”

She’s 96 years old, yet not a day over 29 in her heart.  🙂

I pray that I will be able to be as bright a shining light for others, as she has been to me.  And if the Lord tarries, and I reach the age of 96, then I pray I will still be able to run around like a ‘spring chicken” like she does!

God bless you, Zee, as you walk through this next phase of life.  May you teach those other “spring chickens” at the assisted living center how to live a life to the fullest!

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