I just got the call that I've been dreading for a few days now, my Aunt Charlotte has gone home to be with the Lord. She was diagnosed with colon cancer over a year ago, and after going through chemo twice, three days ago they said it wasn't working and that she wouldn't be with us much longer.
On top of cancer, my aunt also had MS and had been confined to a wheel chair for many years. She's had MS for as long as I can remember. And although it was discouraging at times, she never let it get her down. She was always upbeat and smiling, her laugh could make everyone else laugh. And she faced cancer with the same type of enthusiasm. She didn't know if she would beat it, but she told us all the time that she would be ok no matter what. You see, my Aunt Charlotte loved Jesus. She had lived in her weak body for 65 years and had faced all kinds of medical problems, and she knew that if cancer took her to be with Jesus then it would be ok. By all accounts, any time she went in for a chemo treatment she was all smiles and jokes and happiness, and of course the nurses there absolutely loved her. My mom just told her a few weeks ago, "I'll be praying for you Charlotte." And she responded back, "I'll be praying for you too." My mom can barely tell that story without shedding tears... in her weakest moments my Aunt was always thinking about others rather than herself.
I know we're not supposed to have favorites. But my Aunt Charlotte was my favorite Aunt. I remember when I was a know-it-all 12 year old and she asked if she could take piano lessons from me. I was THRILLED to have my very own student, and who better than my most favorite aunt in the world. :) She drove all the way to east Gresham from Sherwood once a month so that I could give her lessons. I specifically remember scolding her for not practicing enough, and having her smile at me (probably trying not to laugh at such a bossy "teacher"!). Eventually it got to be too hard for her to come to our lessons, and I was disappointed mostly because it meant I wouldn't get to see her so much. I loved her dearly.
I remember when she married my Uncle Tim. I don't remember how old I was, probably 10 or something. And I remember thinking that hopefully someday I'd be just as beautiful on my wedding day. By the time she met and married my Uncle Tim she had been married before, had 5 children, divorced, and then married Tim. So I 'know' that she wasn't the picture perfect bride, but I thought she was gorgeous.
When she passed last night her mom (my grandmother who is 92) and her twin sister Sharon were with her. She will be greatly missed by her mom, her 4 brothers, her twin sister, and her 5 kids and numerous grandchildren and great grand children. And I'm sure all her neices and nephews and hundreds (it seems!) of cousins will miss her too. Because she was the kind of person who made everyone feel special, so there will be many who will miss her. I know I will.