Happy 90th Birthday to a Beloved Aunt

A tribute to a wise, funny woman who has set a fine example for her family.

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Posted in , Nov 17, 2015

Guideposts blogger Michelle Cox wishes a Happy 90th Birthday to a beloved aunt.

Ninety years is a long time. Going back in history, that takes us to 1925, a time when the women wore brocade and crepe dresses accessorized with beaded bags and turban or cluster hats. The men were stylishly dressed in double breasted suits and swagger hats—which I’m sure they tipped gallantly to the ladies.

Paul Newman, Barbara Bush and Yogi Berra were some of the well-known folks who made their arrival into the world 90 years ago. The Great Gatsby was published that year. The first motel opened in San Luis Obispo, California. The Mount Rushmore National Monument was dedicated in 1925 and The Grand Ole Opry began broadcasting that year.

It was a great time in our country with big things happening, but for me, what makes 1925 so special is that my Aunt Bernadette was born that year. She might not have made the “most notable happenings” list for 1925, but to all of us who have been so blessed to have her in our lives, we consider her a national treasure.

I’ve written about Aunt Bernadette before, sharing some of her funny stories like the time she accidentally used Chanel Number 5 instead of mouthwash and the hilarious Christmas where she thought she could remember which packages went to which person–so she didn’t use name tags. One of our most fun Christmases ever!

Aunt Bernadette and Michelle Cox's mom.​But today, as Aunt Bernadette celebrates her 90th birthday, I want to talk about the trail she blazed for all of us to follow—life lessons that are valuable for everyone:

  • She’s been faithful to God and her church. Even during these last few years where she’s needed a walker or a wheelchair to get in the building, where just getting ready has been an effort, you could always count on Aunt Bernadette to be there.
     
  • She’s provided hospitality. Aunt Bernadette’s house is a place where love echoes off the walls. Nobody has ever left her home without knowing they were cherished and welcome. And often they left with a plate filled with her oh-so-awesome homemade treats.
     
  • She’s been faithful to her family, not only providing a warm and inviting environment but the security of always being there for her loved ones. She’s been our confidant, our comforter and the source of so much laughter.

I have photos of Aunt Bernadette as a young woman, and she was beautiful. She’s still beautiful today, and any lines that have had the nerve to show up on her face are just gentle etchings of a life that’s been filled with love and laughter.

Aunt Bernadette, it’s your birthday, and yet we are the ones who’ve been given the gift. I love you, and I want to be you when I grow up. Thank you for leaving a path for us to follow, for footsteps that led us in the right direction. The impact of your life will affect generations to come.

And now a question for the rest of us: What kind of trail are we blazing for others to follow?

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