Hello and good day!
I've written about my Aunt Opal many times now, but I can't seem to leave her alone. Or maybe she isn't willing to leave me alone.
To give you some context, Aunt Opal was my great aunt. She was the sister of my father's mother. She was born in Ohio in 1898. She lived through both world wars as an adult. She lived through the Great Depression. She died in 1995 at age 97. Her mind was still sharp, but she fell out of bed and broke her hip.
she was married at age 18 and had a son a year later. a decade later the father abandoned her and took their son away. She and her only son were estranged for many years, but they eventually reconnected and had a warm and loving relationship for several decades during the second half of her life.
In 1938, Opal moved from Ohio to Fort Wayne, Indiana to take care of my father and his sister who were one and three years old respectively.
My grandma and grandpa, Valore and Vic, owned a chain of successful restaurants, and they were working all the time and needed help taking care of their kids. Two years after Opal moved in, my grandpa Vic died of cancer and now it was Opal and my grandma Valore raising the two little ones.
Since Valore was still managing the restaurants, it was Opal taking care of my dad and my aunt on a daily basis.
In 1942, Opal married Grandpa Vic's brother, Walt. Sisters married brothers. Walt was the love of Opal's life, but unfortunately, he died of cancer just a few years after the two were married.
Opal trooped on and married another fellow, a good man, named Bob Whitefoot Bob passed in 1978. Opal outlived him by 17 years.
Through it all, she remained upbeat and cheery. She never stopped loving life and she was beloved for it. Hundreds of people showed up at her funeral in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
From age 85 to age 95, she kept two diaries. One she kept for herself. One she kept for me, her great nephew, 85 years her junior.I received the one she kept for me as an inheritance when she passed.
The one she kept for herself was in a box in my dad's garage for a long time. He picked it up from his sister's house after she died from breast cancer about 8 years ago and not realizing what it was, he put it into storage.
He recently came across it and sent it to me in the mail. I received it yesterday. These two diaries are my most prized possessions. They mean more to me than the clothes on my back and the roof over my head.
Because in them is recorded the wisdom of good living. As long as I have them, I am sure that I can live well. Recorded in old woman's cursive is the blueprint for how to be resilient and cheery in the face of all the hardships the world can throw at you.
I am in the process of typing them up so that the knowledge will never be lost. I may try to publish the manuscript when I am finished. I think the world could use a good auntie.
Given that she was born in 1898, she would be old enough to be the auntie of anybody reading this. In her diaries, she handwrote many of her favorite prayers, poems, and book passages. Over the next several days, I plan to share these with you.
As I've stated in the past, I have no ulterior motives for sending these emails. My only desire is to give you something free that adds value to your life, in addition to the chocolate you may have purchased from us.
Not many other companies want to do that. But for us, the company is a vehicle for making the world a better place, in addition to being how we earn a living.
Without further ado, I share my auntie's favorites with you, originally written forty years ago, transcribed from handwritten cursive by yours truly.
My morning prayer.
Give me the strength to live another day. Let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties. Let me not lose faith in my fellowman. Keep me sweet and sound of heart, despite ingratitude, treachery, or meanness. Preserve me from minding little stings or giving them. Help me keep my heart clean and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of honest integrity.
Open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see good in all things. Grant me this day some new vision of thy truth. Inspire me with the spirit of joy and gladness and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls. In the name of the strong deliverer our only lord and savior, Jesus Christ, amen.
My evening prayer.
I have much to be grateful for tonight, and I thank you. I have much to regret and I ask your forgiveness. Even as I ask your forgiveness, I know that I receive it and a deep peace fills my heart. Help me to sleep well tonight and to wake ready for that daily greatest of gifts, a fresh start.
Former President Gerold Ford’s Favorite Bible Verse.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, And lean not in thy own understanding, In all the ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.
Two Lines Of Verse.
Content is wealth the riches of the mind,
And rich are they who can these riches find.
By Herman Hagadon
There are strange ways of serving God,
You sweep a room or turn a sod,
And suddenly to your surprise,
You hear the whir of a seraphim,
And find you’re under God’s own eyes,
Building palaces for him.
By Stafford A. Brooks
A little sun a little rain,
O soft wind blowing from the west,
And woods and field are sweet again,
And warmth within the mountain’s breast,
A little love,
A little trust,
A soft impulse,
A sudden dream,
And life as dry as desert dust,
Is fresher than a mountain stream.
By Samuel Johnson.
Money and time are the heaviest burdens of life,
And the unhappiest of all mortals are those who have more of either than they know how to use.
By John Ruskin
We are not sent into this world to do anything into which we cannot put our
All of nature is to be found in the smallest things.
One of my favorite poems.
I have to live with myself and so,
IBorrow My Auntie
I don’t want to stand with the setting sun,
And hate myself for things I’ve done,
I want to go out with head erect,
I want to deserve all men’s respect,
But here in the struggle for fame and self,
I want to be about to like myself,
I don’t want to look at myself and know,
I am bluster and fluff and empty show,
I never can fool myself and so,
Whatever happens I want to be,
Self-respecting and conscious free.
By Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The glory of friendship is not the out-stretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship, it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.
My Aunt Opal was prolific.
I have many more gems to share.
Thank you so much for your time today.
I hope that you have a truly blessed day!
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