Early last month I travelled south of Atlanta to preach the funeral of my aunt. Until I was 4 years old, my parents and I lived next door to Uncle Kenny, Aunt Peggy and Wayne. Wayne is three years older and more like a brother than a cousin. I preached Uncle Kenny’s funeral last October. Now Aunt Peggy is gone.
I come from a very large family. Dad had eight siblings, and Mom had nine. They all married and had children. When you combine both sides of the family, I had 17 aunts and 17 uncles, plus my parents. Today only three aunts on one side and one aunt and uncle on the other, along with my dad, are still living. Out of 36, only six from that generation remain.
Aunt Peggy was the epitome of a Christian lady. She was faithful to her husband, her three children and her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She served in her church. And she was a blessing to her extended family.
I don’t remember this, but I was told that I stayed with her when my brother (who lived less than a day) was born and until my mom came home from the hospital. Three years later when my sister was born, I was again at Kenny and Peggy’s house. She was like a second mother to me. But then again, Aunt Pat and Aunt Lorene were as well.
That was both a good and a bad thing. It was good because they all could cook better than any fancy chef from the Food Network. And they could even throw a ball! But it was bad in that I could never get away with anything. They were all watching, and they all had permission to do whatever needed to be done to discipline me, if you get my drift. There were times when I hated that.
I sure miss it now. Mom’s been gone since 2005. Pat died in 2013. Now Peggy’s gone. Lorene’s not in good health. I don’t talk to her often. What I wouldn’t give to have all of those women in the same house arguing in the kitchen over who was going to make the gravy again. I wouldn’t even mind it if they all jumped on me for saying something "sassy."
Family is so precious. God created the family for our good. Do all you can do to build your family strong and to love one another. You will miss it when it is gone.