Aunt Tudy's Laugh
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.-- Proverbs 1:8-9
My grandmother had two sisters and every Christmas we would go “a-visitin”. Aunt Edna made the most delicious candy. I would eat myself sick as soon as I entered her house. My grandmother’s other sister, Aunt Tudy, was more of a social creature. She threw a party in mid-December every year. And the best thing awaiting us at Aunt Tudy’s party (besides eating Aunt Edna’s candy a second time) was a little gift Aunt Tudy had prepared for all the children. I remember one year she gave me a coloring book. Normally, I would have been delighted but it was the third coloring book I had received that Christmas. My five year old voice did not say “thank-you,” as it had been trained. On the contrary, I exasperated “Not another one!” The room became still, time slowed and an eerie shadow of dread overcame my little heart. Everyone looked at our hostess, expecting a stern correction. But Aunt Tudy threw her head back and laughed as loud as I had ever heard her.
We buried Aunt Tudy yesterday. I didn’t think about her as I thought I would, recalling all those parties. Instead, I thought about Hayden. He’s the little boy who lives next door. He has wide blue eyes, is smart as a whip and sounds like a young Forest Gump. He and our daughter have struck up a great friendship so it was no surprise that she wanted Hayden to join us for “dollar a cheese slice pizza night” a couple of months ago. I transported both of them in my car and met my husband at the restaurant. After we ordered our slices Hayden said, “Mrs. Amy! Your car smells like dirty gym socks!” I thought he was announcing this fact to the whole room. My daughter and husband stood still, every eye was on my response. After a moment, I threw my head back and laughed followed by the whole table. Even the table across the aisle was giggling. And in that moment, I thought of Aunt Tudy. It was a joy to pass on that grace to another child.
My mother tells me I’m 99% Yeary and I do look like my father. But my nose comes from my grandmother’s side. It has a wide base and a rounded top, just like all the Dotsons. And it is most pronounced when I throw my head back laughing…just like my grandmother, Aunt Edna and Aunt Tudy.
Discussion Questions: How do we allow positive memories from our past to mold the actions of our present? How do you honor those who have loved you and have passed?
See more devotions from Amy and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.