Faith, Family Stories

Aunt Dean

Last Wednesday morning we got the phone call that we had been expecting. Aunt Dean had been sick for well over a year, several years really, and Wednesday morning she slipped away from us and began the life that she had spent more than 80 years preparing for – eternal life.

Death is tragic, even when expected, yet for Aunt Dean I can’t help but feel a sense of victory, the kind of victory I’ve read about in the Bible, but don’t fully understand – the victory over death that Jesus promises to those who take up his cross and follow him. I know a lot of people who talk about taking up the cross, of dying to self, but other than Aunt Dean, I don’t really know that many people who actually do it. Certainly not me.

While many of us are in a quandary about what our spiritual gifts are and wonder what God wants us to do with our lives, Aunt Dean just saw what needed to be done around her and did it.

She welcomed the outcast, took in those who needed a home, fed those who were hungry, prayed for those who needed prayer, comforted those who suffered and encouraged those who were discouraged. And she did it all quietly and without fanfare.

So then, Saturday morning we returned Aunt Dean to the earth from which she came. Under impossibly blue skies and with the sweet promise of spring in the air, we cried over her with her children.  And we grieved, not so much for her, but for ourselves.

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Aunt Dean with Sean in 2004. She stood only four feet and eleven inches tall but was a giant among believers.

35 thoughts on “Aunt Dean

  1. Doesn’t it give you chills to imagine the great host welcoming her into Heaven’s glorious gates? Yes, the grieving is for those of us left behind, for your Aunt Deen now has every reason to rejoice.

    I am sorry for those of you who will miss her, though. She sounded like an awesome little lady.

  2. What a beautiful tribute, AM. Thanks for sharing it and inspiring us. When we thought MawMaw had passed away, I was crying and teling James how much I would miss knowing her love. He reminded me that her love wasn’t gone, it had just moved.

  3. The victory of the cross is awesome (in the real sense of the word). Thank you for sharing this. I grieve with you, I can feel part of how hard it must be to miss her. I think this what the bible says when it says that when one part of the body grieves, the whole body grieves, and when one part is happy, the entire body is happy.

    This means that you are also taking up your cross. Because we all need to die to ourselves to enter the body of Christ. A mother’s calling is mainly her children. Perhaps when your children are once fully grown, you can be a more visible christian (taking care for the poor and homeless, out of love and not to get attention). So don’t worry about that.

    Wow, I wrote alot. maybe not so much on topic even. I’m sorry. I hope it helps you a bit. (if not I’ll try not to do it anymore)

  4. What a wonderful tribute to Aunt Dean. As always, you made me ponder. I thought about my own walk, the people of faith I have known it my life, and the place I want to be at the end.

  5. What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful sounding woman! And how comforting for you and your family knowing that she is heaven with Jesus, right where she belongs!

  6. AM, you astound me. Even in grief you’re able to articulate so clearly your love for a woman who knew what being Christ-like meant while she was breathing. You make me sad that I’ve missed out on knowing her too.

    Praying peace and comfort for you all.

  7. What a sweet and moving tribute to your Aunt. I almost cried reading it. How wonderful for your family to know without doubt that she is in the presence of her Savior. If only more Christians lived the life your Aunt did.

  8. Condolences for your lost. What a beautiful and moving tribute to someone who has enriched your life and the lives of others. How glorious that she’ll be spending this Esters and all others with the King of Kings.

  9. Awww, Aunt Dean was only four inches taller than me. She sounds like a wonderful lady, and I know you’re rejoicing that she’s reaping her rewards for a life spent serving Christ.

  10. What a beautiful lady it sounds like she was. How blessed you were to have her in your life!

    I felt the same way when my DH’s grandma died at 100 years of age…sad for us, but thrilled for her.

  11. At the graveside, Aunt Dean’s oldest son spoke. He said that she would have told us that if her life had honored Christ, then it was worth it, if not then it was in vain.

    It was worth it.

  12. Wow, I hope people can say such wonderful things about my life when I pass on. Better keep praying for grace to do and be what God desires!

  13. When I was a little girl,under 5, I cried every night because I was afraid of dying. My mom is not a cuddler, she came in my room every night and hushed me kinda rough. Every night! And still I cried, but then one day my Granny asked me why I was crying and so afraid. She said,”you’re a little girl, it’s a long time until you die” It took me a minute until I got it, and then I said “Granny, I’m not afraid to die, I’m afraid to be left here!!! I’m crying for all of us HERE! I just want to go home!” True story. I rejoice for your beloved Aunt,as I weep for you.

  14. Sometimes the children do not see all the blessings that they have. We are sometimes blind to see what goes on around us. It has been amazing what thoughts and words have been said about Aunt Dean. I am very blessed by God to be her daughter and very comforted by her friends and family to tell me how she influenced their lives. Some people like Antique Mommy and Daddy do great things to help others–for example giving two hour drives back and forth to the airport. Thank you.

  15. What a beautiful tribute who obviously lived the life God had intended.

    We all can only hope that we create that kind of memorial when we cross.

  16. It sounds like your Aunt just did what was in front of her – to the glory of God. I think we, in our pride, would like our “calling” to be something much grander than it really is: Taking care of the person in front us. We ARE His hand and feet.

  17. This is such a beautiful post. We recently said our goodbye’s to our 92 year-old grandmother. It’s amazing the people whom we are blessed to have in our lives. She sounds like she was and incredible and virtuous woman. Thank you for sharing with us all and inspring me to be a better woman.

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