Wednesday, July 8, 2009

If the world seemed a little dimmer on Monday, it’s because my aunt Lois lost her battle with cancer. My aunt was one of the kindest and most loving people I know, and despite not getting to see her in person as often as I wished, she still had a big influence on me.

On trips to my dad’s hometown, we always stayed with my Aunt Lois and Uncle Kenny. “Just go on in and make yourselves at home, the door will be unlocked” she’d tell us if we’d arrive while she was still at work at the grain elevator. She was quick to get us settled in, making up beds on couches for those of us who wanted to avoid snorers, and offering us something to eat.

And eating was something we indulged in at Aunt Lois’. There’s always been a sheet cake waiting for us on the kitchen counter—one half with nuts in the icing, one half without, since she knew we had different preferences. When we visited with Henry and Eleanor back in February, we planned an afternoon at their house for the kids to meet various aunts and uncles. Lois had told me, “we’ll just plan on a light supper.” That “light supper” included ham, turkey, sloppy joes, potato salad, jello salad, potato chips, and two types of cake. We all would tease her over her lack of a dishwasher amidst all the cooking she liked to do. “Oh, I don’t need one,” she’d tell us, standing at the sink washing a mound of dishes after we’d enjoyed her handiwork.

I think what will always stick with me, though, is what a GOOD person she was. I never heard her speak a bad word about anybody. I enjoyed watching her banter with my uncle, calling him “dear” and showing us what a good marriage should be. And I’m amazed that during our last visit with her in May, in the midst of treating the cancer that had returned, she never uttered a single complaint.

I know my Aunt Lois had a lot of faith, and set a perfect example of living a Christian life, inspiring even not-very-religious people like me. I hope with all my heart that her version of beliefs is the correct one, and while she’s missed here on earth, she’s at peace.


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