Thursday, October 28, 2010

Roses from Heaven



Mother was the last of her generation to leave this earth. For many years we had the only two surviving sisters, Aunt Lizzie and Aunt Eula, from our father's side. We affectionately dubbed them our “Golden Girls.” As often as we could we visited with them. They were always included in any and all family functions.


Aunt Lizzie and Eula Christmas Card 2007. They had so much fun doing these cards.



I would never describe them as sweet little old ladies. Stubborn, independent, spunky and strong willed would be more accurate. They were always great fun to be with. They could and would say whatever was on their mind ending with a smile and “honey.”



In their senior years they lived in the same apartment building. Aunt Lizzie was their chauffer. My husband blanched at the sight of their vehicle. “But I bought it new. It works just fine, honey.”



Aunt Eula being the younger always told on Aunt Lizzie. One day Eula pointed out to Lizzie she was driving the wrong way on a one way street. “That’s okay we are only going one way, honey.” They were stopped on many occasions by the Corinth Police. They could always give and win convincing argument. When scolded for not wearing a seat belt, she explained to the nice policeman, “My bosoms are just too large for those things, honey.” They drove on the same tags and inspection stickers for years. Up until they were persuaded to bless someone else with their car, the residents of Corinth and law officers, just made way for them.



Aunt Eula greeted me one day with greater excitement than usual. “This morning I got up without a dime to my name, but look what I got in the mail!” She waved a check in the air. “God will always provide, honey.” I asked what she was going to do with her windfall. “Well, I am gonna declare it a Eula day and priss myself downtown and get my nails done and shop.”





The girls were strong in their Pentecostal faith. In the last few years, Aunt Eula started an exercise program with a group from First Assembly. She for the first time in her life bought and wore a sporty pants suit. “It’s okay to wear britches, honey.” First Assembly folks have more fun. I like hanging with them.” Aunt Lizzie never budged.



The Golden Girls had affection for their pistols. One day out of the blue Aunt Eula explained she had lost her little finger in a firearms accident. “One day I hurriedly reached into my undie drawer where I kept my pistol and it went off taking my finger with it, honey.” I don’t know why she offered that explanation, but getting a raised eyebrow; I knew that was the end of that discussion. I noticed a hand written last wishes list in Aunt Lizzie’s Bible. The first item on the list was her pistol.



I remember another eyebrow raising event. This time it came from Aunt Lizzie. In their younger years, she and her husband lived and operated a business in downtown Memphis. The family home later became the historical home of the “Four Flames Restaurant.” They also owned and operated a successful service station.



A young man named Elvis was a frequent patron. They were obviously not impressed with him. His presence began to hinder business as he was flocked by screaming women, blocking customers from the gas pumps. He was asked to take his business elsewhere. I don’t know if the “honey” was dropped from the request or if Elvis simply ignored it. Fist flew among them. We only heard of this altercation through a nostalgia program on a Memphis radio station. When Aunt Lizzie was asked if this had happened, she just replied, “I didn’t say it didn’t happen, honey.” End of that discussion.



A friend and I had a facebook conversation yesterday about roses blooming so late this year. No one knew just how special these roses were to me. The Golden Girls and I had a conversation when I was very ill. We made a pact that whichever of us got to Heaven first would send a sign in the form of roses that we had made it. I was just not ready to share it.



Recently due to failing health, the Golden girls were separated. Aunt Eula was being cared for by family in Arkansas and Aunt Lizzie remained in Mississippi.



The Golden Girls were to celebrate their birthdays next month. Aunt Eula would turn 87 on November 8th and Aunt Lizzie, 95 on November 9th. Actually we are not clear about Aunt Lizzie’s age. She insists that she was not as old as her birth certificate declared.



Sadly we had to break the news to Aunt Lizzie that her beloved sister Eula had joined her brothers in heaven on October 16. As she sat in our living room, it was apparent her heart was broken beyond repair. Aunt Lizzie said, “I am the only one left.”



As we expected Aunt Lizzie’s health spiraled downward. From her hospital bed she told the doctor she wanted to go to sleep and not awake. She did just that. She went to sleep last night and awoke in heaven this morning. As grief stricken as we are, we rejoice that she and God could decide that together. Her family is complete in Heaven.



Scheduled to leave for California on Saturday, we discussed postponing the trip. I remembered a discussion from last night on God’s removing our sins as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12) East and west never meet; they go for eternity. We and our west coast family will have a special memorial for our beloved aunts. Roses are to be released in their honor into the ocean. As is the east is from the west, they will live and be remembered throughout eternity.



There are two rose bushes blooming in my yard today; one from each of them. Thanks girls for letting me know you are safely home!







2 Peter 3:13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.  Psalm116:15

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a moving account of their lives. Thank you for sharing. They are celebrating in Heaven as we speak. Love ya!
Melissa

Anonymous said...

Linda,

I had no idea when we were exchanging emails yesterday how special that was to you. Thanks for sharing! Love you guys and I hope your trip is a wonderful celebration of life :)

Dena

Sandy said...

Thank you for sharing this
wonderful and moving story
of their lives. How sweet
to know they are rejoicing
with the Lord in heaven even
now. They sounded so special!

deniseh said...

Heartwrenching story; it brought chills all over and tears to my eyes. So glad you "girls" had these two very special aunts in your lives. I will think of them each time a rose blooms.

Doris said...

thanks for sharing the moving account of the golden girls. brought back fond and fun memories.good idea about the roses being released into the ocean. maybe andrea can paddle out and spread some as well.
see ya soon
love ya

Anonymous said...

Aunt Linda,
thanks for sharing this. they will always be remembered. especially in my heart. they mean't so much to me. if i ever wanted to know what the definiton to BEING STRONG was,well all someone would have to say is the "Golden Girls". they were the strongest people i ever knew. i looked up to them. everytime i went to visit them they always had a smile on their faces even on their darkest days. now tell me they ain't strong. i loved them. and as i was reading this i shed a few tears but you know God said it was their time. and when i get the chance i will show this to pops. he will love it.
thanks again for sharing.
love and miss you,
caitlyn paige

Anonymous said...

Aunt Linda,
thanks for sharing this. they will always be remembered. especially in my heart. they mean't so much to me. if i ever wanted to know what the definiton to BEING STRONG was,well all someone would have to say is the "Golden Girls". they were the strongest people i ever knew. i looked up to them. everytime i went to visit them they always had a smile on their faces even on their darkest days. now tell me they ain't strong. i loved them. and as i was reading this i shed a few tears but you know God said it was their time. and when i get the chance i will show this to pops. he will love it.
thanks again for sharing.
love and miss you,
caitlyn paige

Deborah said...

Precious story of two special ladies....
Thanks for this post!

Deborah :)