Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Even though I have not lived near the small town in NW Ohio for more than 35 years, there was still a sense of home there. Recently, that has been changing. The ropes are all getting cut. My Dad died more than a year ago, then six months later, my stepmom died. In June we sold the farm, and then in October, Cousin Pat died. Just a couple years before that, Cousin Merle died. All lived in my hometown. Yesterday, I attended the funeral of my Aunt Fanny, also from Archbold. She died on Thursday evening, November 5th.

The pastor used an appropriate verse from
Proverbs 17:22
A cheerful heart is good medicine.

It was a sweet remembrance. Aunt Fanny’s sense of humor and cheerfulness endeared her to all she met. She often reminded us that “Everyone has a fanny but not everyone has an Aunt Fanny.”

Even through difficult times, she had a smile, a quip, and a peace about her. Aunt Fanny lived for the past two years at a nursing home. I saw her one day as she worked through her physical therapy session. I asked her if she thought she was getting stronger. With a grin on her face, she told me, “Oh, I am strong now. They worry that I will run away.”

The pastor spoke yesterday briefly with the children of Grandma Great. She told a brief story of a hermit crab, reminding the great grandkids that only Grandma Great’s shell was in the casket. She wasn’t there anymore. She was in heaven with God. Each child received a shell in remembrance.

The grandchildren led the wonderful memorial service with a grandchild from each family sharing fun, sweet, good memories. One granddaughter led the acapella singing and all of the little great grandchildren sang so sweetly and joyfully a song called, “On My Journey.” I wish I could post a video of those fourteen sweet children, from a dancing one year old up to about a ten year old.

My siblings and I no longer have a reason to return to the small town where we were raised.

My sister, cousins and I, did go see Walt's House, one more time.

We are untethered and don't know how to respond.

Aunt Fanny was 94 years old and ready to go Home. She is glad to be untethered.

She teaches us how to soar.


Teacher's Pet said...

I've missed you Brenda. I'm sorry to hear about the death of your Aunt Fanny. From your description of her service, she was a loving lady...and well-loved in return. The use of the shells at the service was a fitting reminder that she is no longer present in the body, but is now forever present with the Lord. I am touched at the children's part in her service.
She sounds like a lady that would light up a room. I know that you will miss her.
I remember Walt's House...and remember when you posted about it. I clicked back to look...and again, tears filled my eyes.
May the peace in knowing that your Aunt Fanny was ready to go home help you through your time of grief.
Love to you from Jackie

Donna's Book Nook said...

I feel like I missed a wonderful "going home" service for Aunt Fanny. Wish I could have been there. Also hoping I can see Walt's House again sometime.

Wanda said...

How soothing to think of our own children and grandchildren being "tethered" to us Brenda, it makes their departure into the world less melancholy.

You may be untethered from the land, but certainly not the memories of being there. My sisters and I are no longer tethered to Virginia(home of my grandparents)but it still feels like home in my mind.

Beautiful post Brenda!

Rebecca said...

You carry your Aunt Fannie's gift of optimism and humor within your spirit. It comes through ALL the time.

"Untethered" must be difficult for those who have been blessed by being tethered. In reflecting with friends Monday who were tethered in Winona Lake, I again realized that I have few tethers in the sense of "place" - and so I don't totally understand what it must feel like to become UNtethered. (Does that make sense?) I can only imagine that it involves a certain amount of pain and reajustment of mind and heart......A repositioning of self and a renewed appreciation of the tethers of relationships and family, etc.

Dee said...

I am sorry about your aunt and that one more tie has been undone. Your aunt sounds like someone i would have enjoyed meeting and i got a good chuckle out of her "fanny" comment. You are so blessed to have such a close family

Aliene said...

The Hermit Crab caught my attention. Do you know the story?
I would love it. We have had death all through 2009. My Mom, My husband's sister, a cousin, feiend. Passing out the shells was so sweet.

Bernie said...

A beautiful tribute to your Aunt Fanny Brenda and I understand how you feel untethered as I felt that way after losing close family members and had to rebuild my life, it took time but I am now tethered to the community I live in.....keep the memories sweetie, and I love how each child received a shell, beautiful idea.
.....:-) Hugs