Monday, March 28, 2016

Aunt Helen

Helen Stuart was a remarkable human being.  Actually, that is an understatement.  I don't have adequate words to describer her, but I will give it my best shot in what follows.

She was the type of person you rarely, if ever, meet in the 21st century.  A selfless, humble, and admirable enough human being that Betty Clair and I chose to give our second child the same first name last year due to the deep respect we had for her.  However, even that act underscores the esteem we held for Aunt Helen.

She will definitely be missed.

There were many qualities about her that I pray we may be able to eventually pass on to our own three daughters.  Her selflessness was immeasurable.  In fact, the following scripture sums up much about the way she lived her life and always made me think of her.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
If you ever wanted to see someone who truly lived in such a way, she was as good of an example as you could ever find.

Every time we visited Tallassee, we would arrive to discover that she had gone through the labors of preparing the home to make our stay as comfortable as possible.  If Blair was still wearing diapers at the time of a visit, you could guarantee that Aunt Helen had thoroughly prepared a diaper changing area with plenty of diapers of the correct size and brand.  We aways arrived to clean bed sheets accompanied by fresh bath towels.  If I got a stain on a shirt, Aunt Helen would promptly offer to clean it.  I would later find the shirt cleaned, ironed, and neatly draped on a hanger in my room.

She spoiled me and I was only married into the family.  If I tried to relay stories of the treatment she gave to Betty Clair, her siblings, and her parents, then the servers for this website would probably overheat and crash.

Betty Clair told me just this past Sunday that Aunt Helen wrote her a letter every week while she was in college. Every week.  EVERY.  WEEK.  I doubt I would even do that for her.  Wait, I know I wouldn't.

Her dedication to her family was matchless.  I always thought of her more as a grandmother to Betty Clair than as her mother's aunt.  Betty Clair has often recalled to me the many ways that Aunt Helen was involved in her childhood.  From her stories, it has always been glaringly obvious that her role was much to her benefit.  I truly believe that Aunt Helen's influence on her has played a critical part in her becoming the incredible wife and mother she is today.  To Aunt Helen, I will eternally be grateful for that.

Aunt Helen may have been the most genuinely humble person I have ever known.  She did nothing for show or attention.  Not her clothes, or her speech, or even anything in her daily routines.  I believe she always followed what the Lord requires of us in Micah 6:8 and spent a lifetime "walking humbly with God."

She will be mourned and missed by a countless number of people.

She will never be replaced.  It could not be done even if one desired.

I am grateful for the years she was in my life.  I am grateful she was able to meet the daughter we named after her.  I am grateful for knowing her.

We will miss her here.  However, the joy she is experiencing in Heaven far exceeds our sorrow.

We love you, Aunt Helen.

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