Tonight I am having wonderful memories of my Aunt Glenda. I was teaching a class this morning when I heard the news that she had passed away. My Aunt Glenda has battled cancer for the last couple of years.
It has been an emotional day as memories flood my thoughts throughout the day. More streamed back as I drove to Bible study through rush hour traffic and along the edge of the beautiful Central Valley of California.
My first memories of Aunt Glenda are from Ottumwa, Iowa. Here my Uncle Rick and Aunt Glenda are with my cousins and my sister. My sister is the girl in white with the beautiful long hair. This picture brings back so many memories of when two of my Mom’s sisters and her brother lived in Ottumwa. I had a lot of cousins around.
Oh there are so many memories that I share with my siblings from that time.
Another big memory was going to Jefferson City, Missouri for Uncle Rick and Aunt Glenda’s wedding. I could not find a picture of me from the wedding, but I was a candle lighter. I was not longer the cute little ring bearer. I had grown up. I also remember the day we drove down for the wedding as I was not feeling too well. My older sister and I drove down from Ottumwa with our Dad in the blue pickup. My Mom had gone down earlier as she made the wedding cake.
In the picture above are my Mom and her three sisters and their new sister-in-law Glenda.
Glenda was from Jefferson City and eventually my Mom and all her sisters joined their brother in or near Jefferson City. I think about all the people that I know in Mid-Missouri that I may not have known today if my Uncle had not met Glenda and moved to Jefferson City.
Oh, and Zesto banana shakes.
On Fridays my Mom and her sisters meet for a sister’s lunch when they are in town. In the past couple of years they have all worn special bracelets to their lunch to support Glenda. Here is a picture of them all together.
Here is a picture of my Uncle Rick and Aunt Glenda from a few years ago on Valentine’s Day. They were a wonderful couple and have touched so many lives through the churches he has worked with in Jefferson City.
I have observed the outpouring of love from their friends on Facebook today and have seen many familiar names. Many of these also bring back great memories as it is because of my Aunt Glenda that I know them.
Keep my Uncle Rick and his family in your prayers as they go through this time together.
I will close with what my Uncle Rick posted on Facebook earlier today:
MY heart is broken tonight in one sense because my best friend and wife of 41 + years has ended her journey here, but I find true joy because I know because of her faith in Jesus Christ she no longer has to suffer on this earth. The last two years have been extremely difficult for her as she fought not only breast cancer, but guillain-barré syndrome, and these last few weeks heart disease. She longed to be able to walk again and when ever I asked what she wanted, she would say “a new body” Well, God has answered that request with a new body that won’t ever wear out. I am thankful that God has given us the gift of life in Jesus Christ. Isaiah 41:10 meant so much to her – “Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will uphold you by my Righteous right hand.” And he is our Strength.
I have tears in my eyes again as I reread these words.