Thursday, April 4, 2013

Early Morning Walk...


The night lights were still on this morning as I walked through our neighborhood.  I mused about the busy week of travel and fun and sorrow.   We enjoyed a  wonderful Easter visit with our Little Men & Co..  But, lost a most special Aunt on Easter Sunday, too.


After returning home Monday, I traveled to West Texas for her funeral Tuesday and home again yesterday.  There were a lot of miles to think.

Aunt Dot was one of two women who I most wanted "to be like when I grew up".  Miss Ellen, the second of the two, passed away last fall.  Both women were incredibly GRACIOUS.  They extended a warmth that made everyone they met feel special.  Highest of high or lowest of low.  They had a deep, gentle respect for all souls. 


They were smart.  And, wise.

They were STRONG women.  Fiercely loyal.  Fiercely loving.  You would not want to tangle with  either of them, especially over their families or their convictions.  They were spitfires

On the other hand, they exuded kindness and compassion.  Both worked as nurses.  Both raised families.  Neither was exempt from hardship, heartache or disappointment; yet, neither allowed those times to define them.  They faced troubles head-on and moved forward.


They were not frivolous or silly women; yet their laughs were easy, their smiles contagious and their eyes danced with love.  Love of life.  Of God.  Of family and friends.


They lived their lives with a strong sense of self and honor and integrity.  They were humble.  Both made you want to be a better person.  Because they were

They selflessly gave of themselves to others... always.  Yet, it was not in a martyr-like way or out of sense of obligation or duty... they gave from a place of strength and joy

I will never forget the first Thanksgiving morning I felt that joy...


I was the only one up in the dark, early morning hours washing the turkey to stuff and get cooking so that it would be ready at lunch... the house was quiet.  Now, there had been many times before when I would be up alone doing "work" for a day that I would have had a pity-party for myself.  Not this Thanksgiving morning... I felt such a sense of peace and such a flood of love and gratitude... a closeness to God... all pouring into the washing and preparing of that turkey for my family... The blessing was all mine.
I know now that was the way Aunt Dot did it... with love... and with joy.


I'm not always successful in remembering that moment or the way to serve with love; but, I am ever, ever grateful for knowing women who could.... who did... every. single. day.  They had a Gift and they shared it with all of us who were fortunate enough to be blessed by having them in our lives. 


I'm runnin' out of daylight to "be like them when I grow up"... I hope in some way they both know how deeply I admire and respect their strength and their graciousness...   And, how I know I'll never make it, but they still make me want to be better than I am...

Until later, Aunt Dot and Miss Ellen...

As Aunt Dot would say, "Just remember who you are."

blessings ~ tanna

48 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

a wonderful post to two wonderful, strong women. brought tears to my eyes. i had a very selfish and angry day, and this just set me back on my heels.

Amanda said...

a beautiful tribute. love and hugs to you.

Melissa aka twoknitwit said...

it sounds like you've had some wonderful women in your life, Tanna

& what a beautifully peaceful looking place that you live
Melissa

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

What a lovely post! I loved reading about these women and their grace and how you felt when preparing that turkey on Thanksgiving. This is how it's suppose to feel when preparing a special meal for your family. How wonderful it is that you had these women in your life and how you cherish their memories now. I adored the tour of houses too! Love all the blooming azaleas. I wish things were that in bloom here.

Donna said...

Ah, Tanna, this whole post made my heart happy. How I wish I could have known these two women. You surely are making them proud!
And going for walks in your neighborhood would be pure joy! It is so pretty...and warm! Love to you in your sorrow and peace as you remember. Love, d.

RoeH said...

What a nice post. It's so nice to have someone in your life as you were blessed to have.

Deb said...

two great women Tanna...I think you have definitely learned a lot from both of them...I see it in your posts...that you are the same way...your photos are beautiful...

It's Just Dottie said...

Such a beautiful post. I so loved hearing about the two women that came before you. I feel just that way about my grandmother. Oh Mercy Me!
God tells the older women to teach the younger women . I think you and I were well taught.
Hugs, Dottie

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Beautiful tribute and beautiful neighborhood.

Betsy Brock said...

aw..I'm so sorry for your loss and on Easter, too.

Your photos are just lovely...you are so much further ahead in spring than Ohio...it's just hinting at starting up here!

I found your name! It means 'gracious'! :)

Kate I said...

A beautiful post about your two beautiful mentors...and a most beautiful walk with you too. Although we've never met Tanna, I feel with certainty that the way you live your life is an inspiration and blessing to those who know you...both in "real life" and hear online. Blessings to you my friend.

steph said...

what a wonderful tribute....I think you are doing a very fine job of emulating these fabulous women! and loved so much seeing your 'houses' in all their springtime glory. blessings, friend.

Susan said...

You have truly been blessed to have grown up with such influences as your two aunts. You have beautiful memories and quite a heritage to carry on. I had to smile..."remember who you are" has been a favorite phrase of mine since my daughters were quite young. ;)

Debbie said...

This post gave me a catch in my heart, if you know what I mean. I was trying to look at the beautiful photos, but all I could focus on were the beautiful words. You were so blessed to have them as examples and I'm so very sorry that you lost someone dear to you. What a gift from God that she was resurrected to glory on Resurrection Day.

Mary said...

What a loving tribute. There are women, who even in death, can elevate the spirit and drive us to be more, to be what God meant us to be. It seems you have had the fortune to have two such women in your life. I am so sorry for your loss, but the heavens rejoice when the likes of these come home. I'll keep you in my thoughts this weekend. Hugs and blessings...Mary

Shug said...

Sorry for your loss, Tanna.
Tyler Texas is a gorgeous place to see right now.
Love driving through the Azalea District. So many beautiful landscapes.
I noticed in one of your photos...the "It's Time" sign. I've seen these is several places, but I can't figure out what it's about..do you know?
Thanks for the wonderful photos today!

Marissa said...

Beautiful post!
you are blessed to live in a wonderful area!!

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

I am so sorry for your loss, I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

I have to say dear Tanna, the way you were talking about them....I truly do believe you are just like the both of them.

Your blog is a reflection of who you are, and it reflects the loving, caring, gracious, loyal and talented person that you are.

You are a wonderful person who learned from two wonderful ladies....you are their legacy. :)

((hugs)) and blessings to you always dear friend.

Betty@SouthernGrace said...

What lovely thoughts and photos. I enjoyed our walk... I'm glad God puts people in our life to help shape us. He's not finished with us~ I wonder sometimes too if my life will have made an impression on anyone when I leave here..

karen said...

A beautiful tribute and I see you in your description of your loving aunts. I think you also described my gram :). Sorry for your loss but thank you for letting us meet them through your words.

Catherine Holman said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. But, what sweet blessings to have had in your life.

Judy S. said...

So sorry to hear of your aunt's passing, Tanna. What a wonderful tribute you've written, and yes, I, too, think you embody and carry on the spirit of both of your aunts. Blessings!

From the Kitchen said...

Tana: So sorry to hear about your aunt. Family is so very dear! The houses are beautiful. The second photo is very much like the home I grew up in (and very near your sweet Virginia family). Such beautiful memories you've shared with us. I believe the Little Men might be enjoying some snow play today!

Best,
Bonnie

Cheryl @ TFD said...

What a beautiful tribute to your dear aunt, Tanna. I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounds like an amazing woman and you were blessed to have her in your life.
Your photos are beautiful! Thanks for sharing. (((Hugs)))

SouthernHeart said...

I'm so sorry your loss. With your wonderful prose, you just also described my three sisters: Dot, Gerry and Eunice. Dot and Gerry are now in Heaven and I miss them so much. Like your Aunt Dot, they were special, strong Steel Magnolias! I loved your photos from your early morning walk too...

Blessings,
Dianne
www.sweetjourneyhome.com

Tricia Buice said...

Very well written and heartfelt. You are blessed to have had them in your family. You are special yourself you know - you have a gift to see the best in everyone. Blessings to you dear Tanna.

Mereknits said...

Such a beautiful post today, a wonderful tribute. So sorry for your loss, but your Aunt is smiling down on you so proud of the woman you have become.
Hugs,
Meredith

podso said...

What a wonderful tribute to these two important ladies in your life. One by one that older generation, filled with such good character, are leaving us and we are quickly becoming the older generation. Your post made me ponder what legacy I am leaving!

I enjoyed going along on your walk--such pretty homes and I think I spotted some of yours? By the way, what a wonderful day to die, Easter morning.

Trudy said...

What a beautiful walk , outstanding pictures. So sorry for your loss, I have an Aunt who passed on that was so special to me. We were lucky and to know we will meet up again someday. You have such a knack for writing, so enjoy your blog. Blessings, Trudy

Lorrie said...

What a lovely post honouring two beautiful women. I came over on Podso's advice, because she read a post I wrote today about aunts as well.

Bonnie said...

What a beautiful post, Tanna! What beautiful pics that represent beauty and strength, stability and tradition! I am so sorry about the loss of your sweet aunt . I have a sweet aunt also. You are such a special blogging friend, Tanna. I am bogged down at the moment with so much going on. If I am not attentive it is not because I do not care just overwhelmed. Blessings to you and your precious family. Bonnie

Jennifer {Studio JRU} said...

so sorry for your loss. a beautiful tribute through your words. and beautiful images too!

Wanda said...

What lovely ladies. They will be missed. They remind me of the Proverbs 31 Woman.

I had an Aunt Cassie like that. She was with us until she was 98. She was my favorite.

Pammy Sue said...

Lovely photos and words. I enjoyed the picture in my head when you were talking about being in the kitchen early on Thanksgiving morning preparing the dinner. I tend to not enjoy those times like I should, instead worrying and being anxious about it all. I hope I remember your words next time one of those times comes around and I can enjoy it and be thankful and happy.

Pondside said...

Lovely - just lovely.
I think you must be well on your way to being like those two gracious ladies.

Jen Price said...

So sorry for your loss. Sounds like both were amazing women.

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Dear Tanna, I am so sorry to hear of your Aunt Dot's passing. What a lovely post and tribute to her and Miss Ellen.

Ironically, I had an Aunt Dot who was a nurse. She was the kindest most giving person I knew and she made the best darn homemade biscuits and gravy ever! Every Easter, she would fill plastic eggs with money so that me and my cousins could hunt for them in our Mammaw's back yard. She even offered to pay for me to have singing lessons because she knew I loved to sing (I was in Honor Chorus in Middle School).

Sadly, she died during heart surgery when I was about 19 years old. It was a devastating loss since she didn't tell anyone she was having the surgery. She didn't want to worry anyone and thought she would make it through just fine, but she didn't. Very sad.

Sending hugs and blessings to you, Tammy

Chatty Crone said...

Those homes take my breathe away they are so gorgeous. But nothing compares to the epitaph of your aunt is much better. What a wonderful lady - which doesn't surprise me at all. sandie

Janette's Sage/Simply Your Decor said...

Oh my!! Does this not tug at my heart in so many ways. I have relatives in West Texas...traveled there all my life, so I can just see these women, just like my own great-aunts. Oh how I pray that the same will be said about me...and as I walk a path right now that is hard, I can't help but think from this post, that if I let it, this struggle will put some of the qualities in me these women had.

Then the houses...oh how relaxing to me to just look at these houses. They too are in a town I have traveled through all my life, because my other side of the family is from East Texas. Oh to stroll down the streets and just gaze...thanks for allowing me to do that this morning.

Blessings...thanks so much for sharing...God touched my heart through this.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This was a wonderful tribute to two wonderful women in your life, Tanna. It is always wonderful to have family/friends/mentors like them--true treasures!

Your neighborhood looks so pretty and full of Spring! I love the azaleas.

Rebecca said...

What a POWERFUL post! Your words have painted a picture of the woman I want to be, and my time is running out faster than YOURS, I think!

Through your camera lens, I've ingested such beauty. I don't believe my immediate neighborhood is quite as beautiful as the one you walked through, but there IS beauty to behold everywhere...I don't want to miss ANY of it today.

kathy b said...

ordinary lives...extraordinary women.


The homes you highlight are gorgeous....love to see the SPRING flowering trees

Debbie said...

Lovely post, Tanna. You, like I, are fabulously fortunate and blessed to have fine, gracious women in your life. Such a loss for you, but we have a great hope, don't we?
Your dawn walk was beautiful. Thanks for sharing it. The azaleas are gorgeous this year.

Cindy said...

Oh Tanna, just reading about your wise old aunts makes me want to be more thankful, forgiving and giving. How we desperately need women like that in our lives to remind us of how beautiful and worthwhile every moment and every person is and how to make each moment count. I think you are more like your aunts than you realize. When I read your blog, I know that if I ever met you I would love you because of your beautiful attitude and your loving ways.
Thank you for this. I am in tears...
Hugs, Cindy

Catherine said...

Dear Tanna, A beautiful tribute to your Aunt Dot and Miss Ellen. I am sure they are pleased and smiling at the thoughtful and kind words you used to express their lives.
Thank you for visiting and for your kind comments and encouragement. Blessings friend. Catherine xo

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

So sorry about the loss of your dear aunt. The photos of the flowers in bloom are wonderful...I am hoping to see a little color here at The Glen VERY soon!

Marie said...

That was a wonderful tribute for your aunts. They are gone but you have precious memories. Your neighborhood walk looks like a walk that could be taken in our area. Spring is such a beautiful time of the year.
Love,
Marie

jake ostler said...

These are great pictures, they are awesome looking homes. I would like to buy a Tucson brick home similar to the white one in the photo you posted. Beautiful home.

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Numbers 6:24-26

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.