Yesterday, I packed all my kids in the van and headed off with my parents to see my great Aunt Ag. She lives about an hour away in another town. On the weekend, Aunt Ag had a birthday so we were going out to give her our best wishes and take her lunch from Swiss Chalet. Aunt Ag likes the soup and chicken sandwich. My kids were thrilled that Grandpa was taking them out to eat!
When we arrived Aunt Ag greeted us at the door with her usual bright sunny attitude. Her positive approach to life seems to be enhanced with every birthday that she celebrates. Aunt Ag just celebrated her 102nd birthday.
As she interacted with my kids and talked to my mom and dad I stared at her beautiful smile and her sparkling eyes. The blue eyes that have witnessed so much life. It is amazing to really think about how much life she has actually lived. I listened to her asking questions about how the kids were doing in school, did they like french? How was my mom's mother keeping? How is our church? What was my niece Fiona been up to? I listened as she told stories of what it was like to live in Ireland when she was young. I watched my children's faces as she talked about how she went to work at the Mill when she was just 12 years old. They worked from 6am to 6 pm and it was hard work. I continued to listen as she and my dad reminisced about my grandparents and life when my dad was growing up. Their lives revolved around church and family and being together. I heard fresh about the influence that both she and my grandmother had been on their husbands and in turn their own families. I thought about how that circle of influence now included my children who were playing on the grass.
"Oh this is such a lovely lunch." she kept saying. "I do love to see the children." I wonder when she looks at them if she realizes her influence on their lives. If she understands the heritage she has passed down to our family. I wonder who else has been touched by her life. I wonder if at 102 years old you begin to comprehend the enormity of the impact of your circle of influence.