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Thursday, January 6, 2011

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Pride in Family Memoir Prompt: Stairway to Heaven

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Some rights reserved by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ Stairway to Heaven

 When I saw this prompt to write about someone in my childhood that made me very proud, I thought immediately of an aunt whose name I cannot mention because she is still alive. 

This aunt has never been married our had children. I am very impressed to be able to provide this example because I want those who have not had the opportunity to marry or have children to know that they have a powerful influence on the children around them. 

My paternal grandmother had come for a visit.  As I look back, I can tell she probably knew she did not have long to live.  As I mentioned in yesterday's post, she insisted I memorize the 23rd Psalm on this visit in one sitting. I was able to do it, and she was very pleased. She died soon after. 

 Everyone was so preoccupied, and rightfully so. The only problem is that I remember feeling very sad when my father returned from the hospital to tell us she had died.  I could see sadness on everyone's faces, but I did not know what it meant to die.  The family was busy with arrangements. 

I just had to ask my aunt where my grandma had gone to.  She patiently explained that I would not see her anymore.  She had gone to Heaven.  I asked her about Heaven and was more comfortable when she explained that it was a good place and that I would see her again someday. 

This was my Aunt's mother.  It must have been very hard for her to do this, but she did it very compassionately and convincingly.  On the day of the funeral, I can remember that after she had gone up to view my grandmother, she noticed I had not. 

My dad was very sad, and my mom was with him.   My aunt said, "Would you like to go up to say goodbye?"  I respectfully answered, "Yes."  She did not say anymore, but rather lovingly took me by the hand and walked me to the casket.  As soon as I saw my grandmother lying there, I remembered the story about her going to Heaven. This gave me much comfort, and I knew my grandmother really was not there because she did not look it. 

What could have been a very traumatic experience for a little girl who really loved her grandma, was eased by this Aunt who took out the time to explain.  She did not have to do it with a book, she believed in what she taught me.  I know she must have learned too from her mother.  I would hope that every young child who experiences the passing of a loved one has an angel like my aunt to take his or her hand.

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