Thursday, September 20, 2012 Posted by Sara
We’d meet at Mack’s, I think. It’s a simple little dinner in our former hometown of Cairo, Illinois. She’d sit across the booth, I imagine, and sip on an ice tea, no sweetener. In front of her would be a worn Bible with a nondescript black cover. And in front of me would rest my own, looking almost identical – except perhaps a little less worn.
I imagine her young, maybe 31, just like me. I would be taken by her beauty – wasn’t she the great aunt who went to Hollywood to become an actress? Or maybe she had just dreamed about it.
We’d talk for a while about Cairo, of course. I’m sure she’d have many questions about how it has changed since she had called it home. It used to be a bustling little metropolis in its own right. And now, I would be explaining to her the reasons behind its war-torn appearance.
I would ask her meticulously about the things she prayed for in the town, and if she ever imagined a distant relative would call it home someday as a missionary. I’d insist she tell me everything she could about my Nana’s childhood and early marriage, about meeting my dad for the first time. I’d confess my clearest memory of her was a picture on my grandma’s wall of her and her brothers. She was older in the picture – heavy set with silver white hair pulled back in a bun. She’d smile as I reminisced the times my Nana has spoken of her. “You’d never met anyone as sweet and kind as Aunt Alice. And oh, how she loved Jesus.”
“That was your great legacy,” I’d say looking straight into her eyes, “that you loved Jesus. It is the one persistent fact that always follows the mention of your name.”
And she’d nod, content, as if that was the only thing that ever mattered.
I would peer at her left hand, no trace of a ring, and wonder if she ever dreamed of being married.
She would catch my gaze, and the sight of my own left hand, and lovingly remind, “Love hopes all things.”
“Were you disappointed?” I would sigh reaching for her hand.
She would sweetly squeeze my hand and tap her Bible, “Hope does not disappoint.”