After spending 91 years here on earth, my Great Aunt Jean went home to be with Jesus on the 27th of December. She was an incredible lady, and she is missed greatly by so many people. Some of my favorite childhood memories revolve around her, and she was an inspiration to me in so many ways.
Jean’s passing has brought many thoughts and feelings. All my childhood Thanksgivings were spent at her house, and I have fond memories of laughter and food, listening to her stories, and having adventures outside in her “forests” of avocado and sycamore trees. Her house was a time capsule of life lived in a simpler era. I always loved seeing the player piano (one that used actual paper scrolls of music), the ancient tools in the barn, the 1940’s Ford car, and probably every issue of National Geographic ever printed. Jean is also the only one in all my family who shared my love of horses. It was our special thing, and we spent lots of time discussing horsey topics and riding together whenever we could.
I could go on and on with memories and stories, but I think one of the biggest things I’ve thought of over the last few days is how Jean inspired me. She was one of the few people who truly had a “zest for life”: she worked, enjoyed various hobbies, and was self-sufficient well into her 70s. She lived with passion, yet she was extremely self-disciplined, keeping a healthy diet and never entering into financial debt. She came to faith at an older age than most, and was a true example of one whose faith is demonstrated by a transformed life.
While I’m sad that I won’t see Jean again on this earth, I’m comforted by the knowledge that she is now truly home, free from this world’s struggles and disappointments. I look forward to seeing her again in Heaven, spending eternity in the place Jesus has prepared for all who follow him.