Today I learned that my Aunt Eva Page died last night. I know she is with her Lord and Savior and no longer struggles with earth-bound woes. She had congestive heart failure and for more than a year, struggled to do the simplest tasks.
Even so, I miss her. Her entire family will miss her presence, I am certain. She left a sweet aroma on this earth and memories in the hearts of all who knew her.
About an hour after I learned of her death, the mail arrived with a letter from my Uncle Walter, her husband, whom I wrote about in an earlier post. It was a copy of two pages from a newsletter from the assistive care place they live. I sobbed at the irony that I would receive this the day after Aunt Eva passed on. But I smiled through my tears as I read the details of their lives so often missed by children but appreciated when one is an adult.
March 1, my aunt and uncle celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. I believe their love sustained them throughout those years. Aunt Eva was born in North Carolina and I loved to hear her say my name, “Elizabeth,” with the Southern accent emphasis on the second syllable. I called it her “soft, southern accent” in my story about regaining my hearing with a cochlear implant. I could hear these nuances again and her voice was one I loved.
She welcomed everyone into her home with a gracious and loving spirit. I told her more recently that I loved that she always offered me iced tea when I was a girl. “It made me feel so grown up!” I shared with her. She laughed.
One visit, she asked me if I liked brown cows.
“The drink?” I asked.
“Yes! Root beer and vanilla ice cream,” she said.
“Yum! Yes I love them,” I said.
“Then let’s have one.” And she proceeded to make them and we sat on their screened porch and enjoyed the sweet treat. Only good memories.
When my cousin, Tom Page, was married, we drove to Michigan for the ceremony. The reception had dancing and my husband and Aunt Eva danced and had a great time! In the newsletter my uncle sent, it is telling of a nursing school dance he was invited to in the late ’30s. My aunt was a nursing student at Winston Salem Hospital and Walter was working at the YMCA. In part it reads:
“…during the Paul Jones musical chairs selection, he partnered pretty Eva who was a terrific dancer. She was not impressed. The next day, while walking down the street, she spotted Walter. To avoid him, she ducked into a department store but Walter beat her to the elevator and persuaded her to go on a date with him.”
And the rest, as they say, is history.
In her later years, she lost much of her sight to macular degeneration but I didn’t see or hear any complaints.
In the last 10 years, I had the blessed experience of getting to know both of them on an adult level. Again, I liked what I saw and gravitated to their home whenever possible. Recently, talking with Uncle Walter, I told him I was so glad we got to know each other and spend time together as adults. He agreed and now I am learning once again, don’t delay.
Time is of the essence to let those in your life know you love them. Today I am thanking God for my Aunt Eva, praying for the family left behind and remembering the blessings she brought to so many people throughout her life.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. II Corinthians 2:14-15