Fall Season of Miracles-An Angel In My Family
The POSITIVE ATTITUDE for the Weary Soul group gives you the opportunity to share the miracles in your life during this fall season with a creative writing challenge . Join in on the challenge with the FALL SEASON OF MIRACLES CONTEST | Positive Attitude for the Weary Soul Group
My daughter attends Lamb of God, a Christian school in Halethorpe, MD. They don’t celebrate Halloween there. Instead they celebrate Christian Heroes Day, a day to remember and honor all Christian heroes, past and present. The kids are asked to dress up as Bible characters, saints, historical figures or fictional figures that represent the Kingdom of Light, or a Christian who is a role model.
Last year the there were at least 10 kindergarten and first grade girls dressed as Mary (Jesus’ mother) and there were plenty angels. As the children get older, they really begin to understand the meaning behind this special day. Kids dress as their teachers or their parents. There was a girl dressed as the surfer who lost her arm and boys dressed as soldiers. They are dressed as Martin Luther King, people from the bible, and Christian radio deejays. They have a parade through the school singing “When the Saints Go Marching In”. It really is quite moving.
When I think about who embodies a Christian Hero in my life, there are many who have had a great influence on my faith. My mom was one, I wrote about her a while back, and my Dad, of course. My grandparents, teachers, even singers that seem to know just what I need to hear, and of course pastors who embody the Spirit of the Law, not just the letter of the law.
In my life there is a truly special woman I thank God for each and every day. Today I celebrate her 92nd birthday. She is my Aunt Catherine, also known as Kate and she is my Sydney’s GeeGee. She is my miracle, my angel.
Aunt Kate is one of my mom’s older sisters. Growing up, she and her family lived on the other side of town (actually it was only about 20 minutes away, but somehow back then it seemed as far away as California). We didn’t know her as well as some of my other Aunts and Uncles who we saw most Sunday’s at Gran’s for “Buns” after mass.
When my mom’s cancer returned after a few years of remission, the family knew it was bad. We lived in Warrenton, Virginia at the time. My dear, sick Mom, Dad, my two older brothers (13 and 14), my little sister (7) and me (12) living far away from our family and friends. Knowing that Dad couldn’t do it all, and how sick our Mom was, my grandmother turned to Aunt Kate and said “Catherine, you are the only one who can go”. At the time she was widowed and her children were starting families of their own. I often think about the sacrifice my cousins made, not having their mom around at such an important time in their lives! I am forever grateful to them too.
When Gran spoke, you didn’t question, even when the request was HUGE. Though Aunt Kate must have had reservations about dropping everything in her life to help our family, she packed her bags and moved in with us. Life wasn’t easy, mom was very sick, dad was very stressed and not an easy man to live with (to put it mildly) and there were 3 teens and a 7 year old to raise during a very difficult and confusing time. She managed to be caretaker to Mom, taxi cab driver, stand-in parent, homework helper, etc. for us kids, and sounding board and rock for dad. She encouraged and protected us. All the while she was instrumental in helping us all to feel normal, or as normal as we could, given the circumstances.
When mom passed away, after a very long and painful illness, Aunt Catherine continued to be there for us. Eventually Dad remarried and Kate moved in with my grandparents, taking over as caretaker for them. We remained close, and our relationship over the year has grown and changed.
For a while, my friend Kanda and I had monthly “cooking class” dinners where we would try a new recipe and a new wine and hang out with my Aunt Ellen (one year Kate’s junior) and Aunt Kate. I loved that time with these beautiful, funny, amazing women. We heard stories of their childhood, first jobs (they had to lie about their ages to get hired together), their friends and boyfriends, the war, their lives. I learned about my cousins and their lives. We laughed, we ate, we drank, and we shared.
Through the years, my relationship with Aunt Catherine has remained a special one. Often she was the first one I call when something good happens or when something bad happens. The day Billy and I found out that we were pregnant with Sydney, she and my Aunt Ellen were two of the first we shared our joy with!
There are days that we talk for hours about nothing. There are so many times of just hanging out with her, not having to say anything, and feeling at peace. I have many memories of laughing so hard with her that I would almost wet my pants, times where I cried to the point of exhaustion. She has always been there for me.
The other day we talked about how much life has changed since she was a girl. We talked about how different life will be when I am her age and how much more different it will be when Sydney is her age. I can only hope that no matter how much life changes that we will always live our life as Aunt Catherine has!
Kate, You are the embodiment of a Christian Hero and if I were to dress up at Sydney’s school, I would go as you! You ARE my Fall miracle.
My beautiful Aunt Kate, on this your 92nd birthday I wish you only good health, comfort and joy for all the rest of your days!, I truly can’t imagine my life without you in it. I don’t know who I would be today if Gran hadn’t turned to you in our time of need. You have helped me become the woman I am. I am so blessed to have had you in my life! Thank you for all you have done for me and my family and all you continue to do! HAPPY BIRTHDAY....and many more! We love you!
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