Sunday, June 3, 2007

Sunday Seven - # 8 for me

I have 7 remarkable aunts. I have a close, large, extended family and have never lacked for positive, loving, female role models. My aunts are strong, intelligent, capable, and compassionate women who have influenced my life in more ways than they will ever know. One of the things I cherish most, is the way my relationship with each of them has evolved as I've grown older. I've gained greater respect and new perspective as I've grown to see them not as my aunts, but as strong, influential women full of inner strength and inner beauty. Today's Sunday Seven is dedicated to them.

1. My Aunt N lives in Florida and is my dad's sister. I have never gotten to be around her much, but always loved going to see her when we were young and playing with my cousins there. It was always new and exciting to get to visit her. Growing up, I'd see her about once a year for a week or so. As a child, she was very mysterious to me. She is a nurse, tall and pretty, and seemed "in charge." I always found it endearing that my dad simply calls her "sister" and she calls him "brother." She is a strong woman, having fought many health battles of her own as well as helping her children fight some serious illnesses. I admire her strength and perseverance.

2. Aunt J lives near Washington DC. She and my mom are close in age and our families spent a lot of time together when I was young. Her children are about the same age as my brother and me, and I have many happy memories of times spent together with them! One story keeps popping in my mind as I type. Once, when I was a teenager, I was shopping with Aunt J. From a couple of aisles over, I heard, "Lynnie, come learn." I headed toward the sound of the voice and received an impromptu lesson on sheets and thread counts. That illustrates my Aunt J's approach to many aspects of life - teacher, advisor, instructor. My Aunt J is an ambitious, intelligent woman who knows what she wants and goes for it! I admire her enthusiasm, her out-going personality, her positive attitude, and the joy she shows and shares about life.

3. My Aunt C lives in Tennessee now but comes our way frequently. I have many happy childhood memories of spending nights at her house and making homemade jelly, hearing bed time stories being told, and playing with their cocker spaniel. As adults, she and I share a profession, and it has been fun to get to know her in a different realm as I talk to her about teaching, children's literature, and reading. I enjoy talking to her about everyday things and real life. She's not an open book and doesn't share every thought that crosses her mind; so, it's fun to learn little bits about her here and there and see new parts of her revealed in different situations. I admire her quiet strength, her calm presence, her strong convictions, her independence, and her sense of adventure.

4. My Aunt S lives in Georgia and I get to see her frequently when I visit my parents. She is very family oriented and is always at family functions whenever possible. She is the ultimate supporter! She is one of the quietest people in our big, loud, rowdy family and is often in the background. But that is by no means to say she is a wall flower! She is personable and often catches a family member one-on-one for a conversation. She's often one of the first people I see and hug when I enter the house and one of the last ones I see and hug when I leave. She has strong convictions, but doesn't need to push them on others. She is a true, quiet-spoken southern lady with all of the dignity and reserve that title implies. She often works behind the scenes (Helping to clean up from a leaky sink, for instance.) to make the family get-togethers run smoothly. She is whole-heartedly committed to her marriage and her family. I admire her down-to-earth manner and the way she is able to put things into perspective and look through the chaos to see what is really important. I admire the subtle strength and commitment with which she supports and helps us all as individuals in the family.

5. My Aunt D also lives in Georgia so that I'm able to see her quite often. She is a model of unconditional love and the epitome of nurturer. She loves with her whole heart, and there's not a soul near her who doesn't know how she feels about them. She loves spending time with the children especially, and they are always drawn to her. She always claimed to love to change diapers - and believe me, in our family there were always plenty to change! - so that she could spend a few minutes with the child. I can hear her cooing, gentle voice as she changed my kids saying, "Your Aunt Debi loves you. You are a special little girl. There is a whole house full of people here who love you." She's a work-horse and a jackie of all trades. She has always donated numerous hours of volunteer work to her church and to the community. I admire her dedication to making family first, her talent for giving children a strong sense of worth and family connectedness, her flair for keeping family history alive through story telling, and her compassion for giving to others.

6. B is only 10 years older than me, and I never used the title "aunt" before her name. She is the one I looked up to as a child and wanted to be like. She is beautiful, and when I was a child and she was a teenager, I wanted to copy her every move. I thought she hung the moon and knew everything there was to know about life. As an adult I lived for a couple of years in the same town as she, and we would meet and walk around the lake. I thoroughly enjoyed those times and talks. She has worked tirelessly at an extremely demanding and stressful job in child advocacy and has improved life for children in troubled situations for years. She is strong, courageous and bravely independent when her life-situations have called for it. I admire her commitment to do what's right to help children, her strength to press forward in difficult situations, and her courage in uncertain times.

7. I never used the "aunt" title with V either since she is only 5 or 6 years older than me. I don't see her as an aunt; I see her as a friend. She has a dry, funny sense of humor. She's always laughing, and I enjoy sitting next to her at family get-togethers and trading funny comments about all the activity and conversation. V is not all play, though. She is another one who is good at working behind the scenes. She sees what needs to be done to keep things running smoothly and does it without fanfare. She's realistic, a hard worker and very conscientious. There are many times that she's seemed to wash dishes the entire time the family's together. I admire her strong comitment to family, her common sense approach to raising 3 girls in very different phases of life, her easy-going manner, and her humor in facing almost any situation.


Joan said...

This is beautifully written. Your aunts should feel affirmed by what you have written about them. Since I also love and admire these 7 women, I whole-heartedly agree with your assessment of each!

Carol said...

Well THIS aunt feels very affirmed and loved. Thank you, Lyn. What a wonderful tribute to all seven aunts!

Heart of Wisdom said...

Wow, seven aunts. You are blessed. My favorite is J, "Come learn" is priceless. Thanks for the great poast.

Lazy Daisy said...

Wow, can I be adopted into your family? Just kidding. What a wonderful description of 7 strong southern women in your life. You are indeed blessed.

Natalie said...

I hope that my daughter someday could say such wonderful things about her 6 aunts.

Melanie said...

What a wonderful tribute to your aunts! You are very blessed, indeed.

Aunt S said...

Thank you for the nice description, Lyn! I am blessed to be your aunt!

terrell said...

Aunt S is usually quiet, but can make noise. And she is committed to her marriage "till death do us part" .. of course she has occasionally threatened to hasten that parting. Luckily I can still out run her, barely.

I love your aunts to, What a great tribute.

(Do we uncles get roasted next week?)