Originally posted on April 7, 2006
This is my Uncle L.T. and his first wife, Paula. It is an old Polaroid I scanned. I think it looks pretty good considering that. On the back, there is a date stamped August 21, 1971. I don't know if that is accurate, but it seems likely. They would have been around 19 years old. I'm not sure if this is before or after he went on his tour of duty but imagine this baby-faced young man experiencing the things I shared in the post "Why I am Writing, cont."
Originally published on April 18, 2007
I dreamt of Aunt Margaret the other night. I woke up feeling like she has been neglected in this blog. Now, she hasn't really been neglected; I just haven't made it to her yet in these posts. But, because I dreamed about her, I thought I'd at least mention her briefly. Her name was Margaret Louise. She was the fourth of five children and the youngest daughter born to Tommie Lou and Loyd Hoke Reddick. She was my sometimes babysitter, a wonderful aunt (she was my steady supplier of Nancy Drew books for many years) and, when I was older, a dear friend.
Here is a picture I recently scanned of my mom's family:
My mom is in the back--the tall redhead. Next to her is my Uncle Jimmy, then my Grandma, my Grandpa and my Aunt Lea. Kneeling in the front row is Aunt Margaret and Uncle L.T. The adorable blonde in the tire swing is yours truly.
This picture was taken in the summer. It was a last minute get together before my uncle left for the army (or Vietnam.) I remember it was last minute because my aunt was babysitting us. My aunt received a phone call and suddenly she was getting my sister, cousins and I cleaned up. That outfit I'm wearing belonged to my cousin, Candace.
Aunt Margaret was funny, faithful, full of energy, fierce in her beliefs and a good friend to all. At the time she died, I was having in rough time dealing with a stressful situation that had lasted several months. I was also considering leaving my job. I wasn't able to visit her regularly that last year and after she died, I quit my job and shortly after found out I was pregnant. All that, as I look back on it, seemed to get in the way of my grieving her death. I would see women who reminded me of her in many places and for a moment, forget she was gone. I still catch myself thinking, "Aunt Margaret would think that was funny." or "I know what Aunt Margaret would think about that!"
She was something else and I can truly say I've never know anyone like her.
Originally published on June 26, 2007
About two years ago, my Uncle L.T. died. I recently came across something a former co-worker wrote about him. It is obvious that L.T. Reddick had a big impact on many people around him. I like knowing that there is a person, living on the other side of the country, who cared enough to write about him, who knew and recognized a lot of the same things I knew about him and recognized in him.
Two years later, I feel like I have mourned his death. Just this past January, I wouldn't have been able to say that. In fact, I began this blog in January of this year to have a place to talk about my grief and to share about those I've lost, beginning with Uncle L.T. Over the last six months, I've written a little over a half-dozen entries. After starting this blog, I began writing more on my family blog and soon after started one more blog for me to talk about whatever was on my mind. I noticed recently that that strong urge to write here was gone. . . at least for now.
Why tell you all this? Just to let you know why I'm not writing much and, if you'd like, where you can go to see what I am writing about. I'll keep this blog alive in case I need to "talk" more in the future. I never did write about my grandma or my brother. I wanted to write more about my aunt. Someday. Maybe.
Until then, may God bless you and keep you. May he make his sun shine upon you.
Originally published on October 1, 2006
My daughter's class has periodic electives called mini-classes. There are usually 3 - 5 classes offered and they last five weeks long. Last year, in kindergarten, Marley wasn't able to participate. This year, however, she was very excited to sign up for one. She chose sign language.
After school one day this past week, I was catching up with one of her teacher's about a field trip. As the conversation continued, the teacher looked at Marley and asked her which mini-class she had signed up for. Marley told her and I was about to say that my Aunt Margaret knew sign language. I couldn't get the words out. As I started to say them they caught in my throat and tears welled up in my eyes.
I was so surprised by this. My Aunt Margaret died seven years ago. Although her death is one that I feel I grieved most inadequately, it seemed like I had come to terms with it in the last year. Maybe it was realizing that Marley never knew her--I found out I was pregnant just a few weeks after she died. I don't know. I just know that for a few moments the other day, the grief was awakened and I missed her so much.
This past Friday night in my small group from church, we ended up discussing the prayers of the saints. Can we pray to the departed and ask them to intercede to Christ on our behalf? Regardless of what the answer to that question is, I like to think of Aunt Margaret looking down and seeing her grandchildren and children and the rest of her family and friends. If she is able to intercede in prayer for us, I am glad--for she always had a definite opinion of what we should do and I know that her prayers would be enthusiastic!
Aunt Margaret, if you are reading this, I love you and miss you. You were a great influence on my life, a cherished aunt and a good friend.