Did you know that November is National Family Stories Month? I didn’t until recently. Sharing funny or sweet family stories is so much fun, and I always like to think of those memories as the glue that binds our families together.
My Aunt Bernadette is responsible for many of my best family memories, and I wish every child was blessed enough to have an aunt just like her.
One of the oft-repeated family stories goes back to the days when Aunt Bernadette was a Girl Scout leader. They’d taken the girls to rustic cabins for an overnighter. Aunt Bernadette woke up early the next morning. It was still dark in the cabin, but she eased out of bed so she could get herself together before the girls woke up.
Without any light, she felt through her belongings until she found her toothbrush and toothpaste. Plopping a generous dollop onto the toothbrush, she began brushing her teeth, and then realized she had a mouth full of first aid cream.
She twisted the handle on the faucet–only to discover that the water was frozen. Still in the dark and spluttering first aid cream, she frantically searched until she found her mouthwash. She took a big gulp–and then made the discovery that she’d found her Chanel Number 5 instead. At least she smelled great that day. Hahaha!
Another favorite Aunt Bernadette story happened at Christmas many years ago. She always bought tons of gifts for her four children and for everyone else she loved. Seriously, the stacks of packages under the tree were impressive. But one year as she wrapped presents, Aunt Bernadette decided she could remember whose gifts were in each box.
Um . . . no. But, oh my, that was one of the most fun Christmases I can ever remember as male family members opened bottles of perfume and dolls and women opened boxes of men’s socks and sporting goods. I have such sweet memories of the laughter that day as everyone tried to figure out the rightful owners of the gifts.
But the stories don’t end there. They’re woven throughout my heart and the fabric of my life. You see, besides many of the funny memories, Aunt Bernadette has provided me with stories and lessons about how to live my life.
She taught me how to bake a roast and make gravy, how to parallel park, and how to fold those oh-so-troublesome bottom sheets.
She showed me what a real home was like–one where love abounded, where fresh-from-the-oven cookies greeted you when you walked in the door, where everyone received such a warm welcome that they felt like they were part of the family–even if they weren’t.
Aunt Bernadette just turned 89, and I’d like to say something to this special lady. “Happy Birthday, Aunt Bernadette! Thank you for providing me with enough love, laughter and family stories to last a lifetime.
What stories can you share with your family today?
Dear Lord, thank You for the oh-so-special gift of family. Help us to cherish the precious moments that You give us. As we write the stories of our lives, help us to remember the importance of family and that the moments we spend together today are the memories we’ll cherish tomorrow. Amen.