Sunday, September 06, 2009

Aunt Grace

At church this morning, we had a guest minister. His wife was related to members of the congregation so the day turned into a mini-family reunion for them, including the celebration of Aunt Grace's 101st birthday.

Not that I could have looked around the congregation and chosen who was 101. We have an older group of regulars and a few are nearing their centennial, but Aunt Grace didn't appear to be someone who was over it. She had come from out of town, even! Sitting on the front row, she wore wrist-length pink gloves which matched her floral dress. From my perch in the choir rows, I was charmed even before services started.

And then I was totally in awe. A younger relative (younger being relative when one is 101), maybe younger than me by a decade but no more, arrived. She, too, was a stranger to me. Aunt Grace was overjoyed to see her and the feeling was obviously mutual. She knelt in front of Aunt Grace, became eye to eye, hand to hand with her, and they talked and laughed. I thought how lucky they both were, this young niece or granddaughter to have known this woman and revered her for so long, and this centenarian, to be so honored.

And I missed all the older women in my life who've died and who I won't have a chance to wish happy birthday any more.

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