Becoming Holy

Fun Memories

on February 21, 2014

330

 

I am going to try to be a bit more focused on blogging in the year ahead and Thursdays are going to be my day to blog about people, places and events that have been life-changing for me.  The photo above is my Aunt Jane.  She married my dad’s brother, Fred, who happens to be my godfather~I personally feel that makes her my godmother by association!  From my earliest memories, Uncle Fred and Aunt Jane have been a huge part of my life.  Each Christmas I received a handmade gift from them.  Aunt Jane is extremely talented and crafty and my first gift I have memory of is a little book made of cloth with “My First Book” stitched on the front.  Inside there are shoes to tie, letters to read, numbers to count, a hook and eye to fasten, snaps to do, and a pocket.  I still have that book and treasure it!  The book was followed by a pink plaid pajama bag, Holly Hobbie decoupage, a lady bug wall hanging, paper clip necklace and walnut bracelet, and a jewelry box.  I have all of these in my keepsake box except for the paperclip necklace and bracelet which I wore until they fell apart!  🙂

A really cool part about being from a big family is having lots of uncles and aunts and cousins.  My first cousin, Allen, and I were born 18 days apart.  He, too, has Uncle Fred for his godfather.  Uncle Fred’s birthday is the day before mine and Aunt Jane’s birthday is the day before Allen’s.  Many unique coincidences draw us together.  Each of us has our grandma for a godmother.  Mine is Grandma Nuxoll and his is Grandma Sonnen.  We grew up being inseparable.  We loved Christmastime and our homemade gifts.  Feeling loved and blessed.  Our grandmas were grandmas to all so it was all up to Uncle Fred and Aunt Jane to share that something “special.”

Uncle Fred and Aunt Jane moved to Portland before my memory begins and one of our favorite family trips was a journey there when I was three and a half.  We played with the toy kitchen, had blueberry pancakes and alphabits cereal, played with their six children (technically I was the tattle tale who ratted out that they were jumping on the beds!)  and went to the zoo.  We also bought a tent and sleeping bags while we were there.  It was a HUGE deal!  My mom and dad had only five kids at the time so I’m sure the journey was easy!  NOT!

From Portland, Uncle Fred and Aunt Jane moved to Chicago.  Their visits home became an annual event to look forward to and cherish.  Not only did they come home, but our other “big city” cousins from Omaha planned their trip home at the same time.  Uncle Gene and Aunt Mary had six kids also.  Each July, we waited with anticipation for the arrival of the Nuxoll and Kee cousins, uncles and aunts!  There would be family dinners at the various houses, spending the 4th of July together in Greencreek, hauling hay and a big family camping trip!  As younger kids, we were blessed by the older cousins with lots of attention including piggy back rides, shoulder back rides and fun stories!  Definitely the best week of the year!  Being all together meant the world to us.

In college, I was blessed to share letters back and forth with Uncle Fred.  During those years, he was diagnosed with colon cancer and his letters were even more meaningful.  His last visit home, Joe and I had just gotten engaged.  We were able to stop at Aunt Jane’s mom’s home and share our news with them.  Joe got to meet them officially and be approved as a “godson in law.”  They were unable to attend our wedding due to his advanced cancer.  Just one month after our wedding, Uncle Fred died and left a huge space in my heart.  Aunt Jane is my surrogate godmother.  She has been widowed for almost 24 years and lives a beautiful grace-filled life caring for her kids, grandkids and all those around her.  This past summer, she and her son, Jim, came out for the family reunion.  It was such a blessing to have her around, to see our cousins from far away and nearby, to reconnect as family.

Life is truly about relationships.  It’s about the little things.  Remembering one another.  Thoughtful gestures.  Kind words. Spending time together.  Being family.  I am feeling blessed today.  Remembering my godfather and the way he made me feel. Appreciating the love and time that went into my “Christmas treasures.”  Celebrating the goodness God placed in each one of us.

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2 responses to “Fun Memories

  1. Such a blessing these relationships are. I love your sweet memories of your Uncle Fred and Aunt Jane. And I know that you, beautiful lady, were and are a huge gift to them as well.

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