Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Auntie Kay

So, I have this awesome aunt. I know that all my siblings will agree that she is our favorite. I don't mean any disrespect to our other aunts - they all have wonderful qualities, and special memories for us - but Auntie Kay is different. My sisters and I must all aspire to be that kind of aunt to our neices/nephews - we want to be THEIR Auntie Kay. I doubt we ever will be. She is like the Indiana Jones of aunts. For example, when we were little she lived on a farm, but it wasn't an ordinary farm - they had peacocks running around with the chickens. My mom would drive us out to visit her and sing a song she had made up about Auntie Kay (nope, don't remember any OTHER aunt having that honor!) and it was a FUN song to sing, so we all joined in. We had this black and white photograph of Kay hiking in the Sierras that made it look like she was just crawling up the side of a giant rock slope like spider man. Kay always had funny stories to tell us. Sometimes they were about her stepdaughters, Audrey and Vanessa, or her cousin's girls, Lindsey and Hallie May. Sometimes they were about whatever silly kitties were occupying a place in her heart at the time. Her nutty husband Roger for years made fantastic stuffed bears - Roger Bears - and they were always getting into mischief too. When we lived far far away in Missouri, we loved to get letters from Auntie Kay telling us such funny stories. But she also wrote to us about grown up things. I remember her writing to me about the book she was reading - the Aquarian Conspiracy - and actually trying to explain in words an 8 year old could understand what it was about. She also made me a leather totem pouch - just like the Indians wore! And she didn't just make it for me, she sent me instructions how to make my own. Kay lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico studying ancient Chinese medicine. When her 8 years of training were complete, she moved to Sedona where we would often go visit her and receive acupuncture treatments, and covet her earring collection and go hiking in the red rocks and so on and so forth. Our mom and Kay were always in a competition to see who could grow their hair out longest. The funny part about it was, they both had extremely short hair. They were obsessive about cutting their hair. They would get it pretty long (Like, covering their ears) and then it would feel too shaggy and they would have to cut it. They are only a few years apart so they used to look a lot alike. Some people even said they looked like twins with their short hair and their Evans faces. When I was a single adult living in Santa Fe (certainly trying to be an adventurous spirit like Kay was in that place before me) I saw a comic strip that reminded me of Auntie Kay - It was Mutts, and it was a kitty playing with a little pink sock. It was similar to this onebut not this one. Anyway. I saw it and I thought of Kay so I sent it to her. Would you believe that 10 years later, my Auntie Kay sent me that comic strip back and told me that she had kept it all those years and always thought of me when she saw it? That began a correspondence that I have been so thankful for. I love my Auntie Kay even more now than when I was a little kid. But lately life has gotten in my way. I haven't written to her in months - maybe even a year. Well, the other day, I got a letter from her with another Little Pink Sock episode tucked inside. The letter began with "The saga continues." It just made me giddy. But the letter unfortunately was pretty sad news. She is practically crippled from back pain that doctors have had trouble treating. Her husband is so busy trying to earn a living in this economy that he couldn't take care of her in that state, so she has gone to live with her sister (my other dear Auntie, Nancy, who is older than my mom and also a very interesting and compassionate person). I can't say it sounds horrible being taken care of by your sister - apart from the chronic pain, of course. I'd love to get to live alone with my big sister and spend lots of time with her. But Auntie Kay? It breaks my heart that her adventures are pretty much over. I guess this is the time for her to put her Buddhism to the test and learn to quietly listen. But I so ache for her. And I can't help praying that God is using this for his glory in Kay's life. That maybe this is a whole new chapter of HER saga. That an awakening is coming far more real and grand and life-altering than any harmonic convergence in the galaxy. I pray that this will be the time when Kay meets God. And I pray she will have joy.


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