My dear old aunt ~ my Mum's only sister ~ died early this morning. She'd suffered with sickness and pain for a long, long time. Despite her frail state, she spent so much of her time in service to others ~ she weighed only 85 pounds and had emphesema, but despite all that, she would brave the Winnipeg winter chill and walk to the hospital to visit and feed the elderly. She did this until she became physically incapable of doing this. My aunt was about a-year-and-a-half older than my Mum, who will turn 80 this May. Circumstances make it so that I am here, far from my Mum, while she mourns the loss of her only sister. I feel somewhat melancholy, about this loss and my distance from my family. The death of my aunt reminds me that my Mum will not live forever. And this, too, saddens me. But, I must live in the now, making the most of what I have, now.
It occurs to me that I must celebrate, honour, my aunt and the life she led. She had a strong faith, placed Jesus at the very centre of her life in all she did. She wanted to be a Grey Nun, but was too frail and sickly to enter the order. Nonetheless, she lived a holy life ~ never marrying, remaining ever celibate. She had a creative streak ~ knitted, painted, and played the piano. And she loved God's creation, trees, flowers, furry things and birds. So, dear reader, I have a small and simple request. The next time you have the opportunity, feed our feathered friends. Maybe you have a bird feeder, or maybe you have some stale-ish bread that you could break up and feed to the birds. In this way, we all can honour the loving and wonderful woman that was my Aunt Henriette.