Yesterday we celebrated a life.
This is my Aunt Mercy.
Yesterday and the day before, family and friends gathered with heavy hearts to say good-bye to this wonderful woman.
I told you in this post how much she sacrificed for me.
I had this nagging feeling that something had to be said about her generosity because generosity and sharing WAS her life. I wanted to remind everyone of how she spent her life serving others.
So, I outlined a few things I thought I might say about how generous she was with her time and any thing else she had. As we left to go to the funeral home, I went to grab my notes but had second thoughts because they did not seem adequate.
Luckily, my step cousin was able to put together a beautiful speech about this incredible woman.
He spoke of her love of children.
She never gave birth to any children of her own, but my cousins and I and any other child that came along were her children.
I remembered vividly how her house buzzed in the summers with all my cousins. They would work with my Uncle John at their full service gas station and they would stay with them in their two bedroom house. There was always room, though. She would feed them, wash their clothes, love them and even make them soap for their teen age acne!
A few years after my Uncle John died she married my step uncle. He had five boys! My step cousin spoke of how she always gave them her best. She always made sure they had the best. She nurtured them and treated them as her own.
My youngest step cousins had a friend that had moved here from Vietnam. He and his brother were the only ones here and his brother was moving back to Vietnam. That would leave the friend here alone, but thanks to my aunt he was not alone. She made sure he had a home with them. He lived with them through his high school years and two years into his college career.
This isnt the best picture but here she is with him (his name is Duk) and my step uncle.
She made such an impact on him that he recently invited them to an event he was participating in and he shared with the audience how she was the one that nurtured him and encouraged his love for cooking (he is now a chef). He went so far as to say the she is the one he considered to be his mother.
I am so grateful he was able to share that with her. I know it meant everything to her.
My step cousin then spoke of Aunt Mercy's abundance.
She had an abundance of love. She had an abundance of compassion. She spent a few years helping a young mother with her child that had life threatening disabilities. Even though she knew that baby would be leaving this world soon and her heart would break, she did not let that keep her from loving that baby and giving that baby the best care ever.
He also reminded us of how she took our great aunt into her home and cared for her the last six months of her life as she struggled with lung cancer.
She was...well, abundant in every sense of the word. She never lacked and never worried of lack. My step cousin shared how my nephew would walk to her house when he was a child, go to her pantry and basically grocery shop. He would point to things they did not have at home and she would give it to him. Anything he wanted. She would laugh and send him on his way.
Even in our last visits to her house, we would never leave empty handed. Sometimes she sent plastic bags. Sometimes she sent home made hot sauce. Sometimes she sent ramen noodles. We never left empty handed.
There are countless stories of how generous this angel was.
She was like a second mother to me.
When I was a child she had this awesome console television. When Christmas time came around I would go to her house and she and my Uncle John would let me watch all the classic Christmas cartoons on that then "big" TV.
When I think of her I dont think of her struggle with severe pain in her last few years of life.
The only thing that goes through my mind is the love that exuded from her heart and the love that filled her being and her home.
I give thanks to God for blessing my life with what was surely one if his Angels here on earth. And, I thank Him because I know the love she shared with us is never ending.
Good bye my dear Auntie. I love you and I miss you.