Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Who she was to me

I don't remember a time when Aunt D wasn't in my life... yet she has just recently passed (actually last week, mid LIVES).

Sadly, today, before going LIVE again, I received the call that her mom passed as well.  

If you don't know, my childhood was pretty rough.  I was told that in heaven, God asked who could love the unlovable, and I raised my hand.  I know that He knew what I was being raised in, so the Lord sent me an angel in the form of my beloved Aunt D.  Now... she won't have a funeral as she wanted us to celebrate life and not be blue.  

So, no funeral, but so much love to share... 

Here is my beloved Aunt D and who she is to me.

She was my other mother.
Debby embraced and befriended my parents... never passing judgement (that I saw) on their choices, their homelessness, their battles... she just loved them... and me.

Never having children of her own, she was so giant hearted that she adopted so many... including me.

Aunt D is what I called her.  She is who my dad called when the abuse was bad at home and this amazing woman would leave work to pick me up before my mom arrived home (and the abuse would begin).  She is who I called when my parents passed away.  She called me when she was diagnosed with cancer.  We called to commiserate life, my folks, being a wife or mom... to just talk, laugh, to have grace or her reminding me to 'pull my big girl panties up'.

Aunt D taught me to love clothes... she used to come over and I'd literally sit at her feet and play with her outfits.  From lace to jeans, flannel to silk... fabulous shoes to hiking boots and sneakers.... I was always in awe of how beautiful she was.

She did NOT like photos taken of her.... and I have so few (per her request).  One lesson I learned (same for my parents) was to take the photos... get in them!  Leave a legacy of your fingerprint and love on those you love.  I feel like I am breaking the rules here... posting about her when she wasn't ever looking for the attention.

But she has always had my attention.
My kids were her grandkids.
Boy did she LOVE huge!
What a gift she was to not only me, but to my children.

This was a year or so after her battle with cancer began.  
She is who I sought after for love, understanding, guidance, sass... and yessss Sass was a big lesson she encouraged.. to be beautiful, smart, strong and to have sass.
This was her.
I would stay at her home most summers or and most weekends as a child.  She had a pool and couldn't allow us to swim unless we could go to the bottom of the deep end and pick up her wedding ring.
Secret?  I was terrified of the deep.
Her method (after a long time of gently coaxing) was to give me a piggy back ride, warn me to hold my breath and dove into the deep end.
Not traumatic at all - lol!
I learned though.

She taught me to ride bikes down giant hills, to hike and camp, to watch Dallas and horror movies, to dive deep, to dress to impress but also that the clothes didn't make or break us, to play street hockey, to appreciate a cute tushy, to soak up the sun and live life to it's fullest.

What is funny, I know that I look like my own Nanna and Mom but I always felt like I looked a bit like her.  Maybe it is just the heart and spirit that she lent me... or that she was so beautiful to me.  She was ALWAYS 28.... then she said I could say 50 lol... so when my husband asked me her age - the only thought that came was that we almost shared a birthday and that she was 28 (we were two days apart).

She's who I called when I didn't feel safe, when I needed a bra (and my mom didn't listen - to which she and my mom had words lol).  She taught me how to apply makeup for beauty pageants to embracing my long (past my tush) hair.

I'll miss our calls and visits.
My country roots started with Vintage Country from my dad to the Judds with my Aunt D.  She taught me to jack up the music when cleaning, while at the pool, when driving the back country roads, when cooking or when life isn't going as you thought.... somehow music could add something good to most anything.
Daddy's girl.
Pappa Reniere was quick to smile - especially when it came to his little girl.  He had a full life with a deep love of his wife and his three kids (and their families - including the rag tag girl she brought along to family gatherings).

As a Daddy's girl... the value of a loving father in our lives is precious.  I'm so grateful that Aunt D lent me a bit of her family to me as well.
I soooo stole these photos off of FB but... to the Left here is her mom.  Momma Reniere was lovingly called Nanna as well.  She was so full of life and passed just over a week after my beloved Aunt D (her only daughter - leaving behind two sons and their families).  She was a hoot y'all!  Could cook up a storm, her and her husband taught us to sled on grass with cardboard, roast weinies and live life big!

Knowing that these two fierce and fabulous ladies are in heaven with Pappa and my parents... paving a way while kicking up some fun, makes me smile. 
It's amazing what thumbprints we can leave behind.  From SunTea to Sun bathing, learning to swim, enjoy camping, rivers, oceans, lakes and nature, loving deeply, overcoming, running full throttle into life... it's a beautiful thing when we share the love of and life of others - some for a season, some for all of the seasons.
She taught me that family as fluid.... that we can love and adopt others to increase our family to include friends.  I'm so so so grateful for her love, friendship and lessons in life.  I am so grateful for the many who do the same for my kids.
Aunt D had a hard time finding the man who'd appreciate her... until this amazing man who she called Mister.  She gives me hope on so many levels.  She found a wonderful, larger than life man who cherished her, loved her, openly adored her, knew her and took care of her until the day she died.  Hero worship?  Naw - he is her and my hero in so many ways.  

Good Bye - for now to two amazing women.
Thank you, Aunt D, for loving me as you did, for loving my kids and life... I'll always love you.

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