Dear Aunt Joan
If I could have you here for a day
I would drive you to Mariastein in Switzerland
If I had to, I would carry you down the steps into the “Grotte”
Where legend has it, a small boy fell down from a precipice into the arms of an angel and thereupon, his life was spared.
You would immediately sense the peace of God’s Holy Spirit.
The heat would warm your aching bones.
If I could have you here,
You could enter the sanctuary and commune with the Almighty!
Later we would feast on a lunch with the nuns in complete silence
A ritual the nuns practice so that they can hear when God speaks.
We would enter into my garden
I would show you the grapevine planted in honor of your Dad, my Pappy Harry,
I would show you the “sweet bubby” bush planted in honor of your Mom, my Mama Mill,
You would see the owl sculpture in honor of your sister, my Aunt Donna,
And the painting your sister, Sylv, my Mom, drew on our driveway entrance of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
You would see the wooden chair I placed at the top of the hill behind our home, near the nature route… a place where I sit in the summer and commune with God…. a chair placed so that others who pass may choose to stop, sit, and reflect on God’s magnificence and grace.
Then I would take you in the house and rub your aching bones with warm Apulian olive oil
A way to say thank you for praying over my pain ridden knees as a child..no, I didn’t forget.
Then I would kneel at your wheelchair, take your hands in mine
And together we would pray and give thanks to God
for our connection over the years.
We would pray for the healing of the world
We would rejoice about all the challenges that God has pulled us through,
And we would offer a special thanks
that God enables other nieces and aunts to remain connected in spite of the
distance that separates.
God bless you and keep you.