Memory Lane: Aunt Betty and the Mammoth

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Aunt Betty, the eldest of my mother’s five sisters, was a nun. She lived and worked in some exotic place called “Pennsylvania,” and every now and then came up for a visit. As a very young child, I found her old-fashioned  black habit… well, it used to scare me.

But Betty was determined to win me over, and that she did. I don’t know where this notion came from, but I believed “Pennsylvania” still had mammoths and that my aunt could somehow get one for me. And she made the mistake of saying she’d see what she could do.

Naturally I expected her to come up with a real, live mammoth all my own. I pestered Grandma about it. And one day Aunt Betty showed up with a mammoth–just for me.

I was disappointed. It was just a little mammoth shape cut from someone’s old fur coat. But what I wouldn’t give to have it now! And once I understood that this little cut-out was the best that she could do, I became very attached to her.

What a mind she had! She knew all the classics, in English and in Latin, and had a gift for talking to you as if you were all grown up already. We grew closer as the years went by. I could listen to her for hours. But she has since gone to her reward, and our next family dinner will be laid out for us in Christ’s Kingdom.

I wonder if she’ll like my books.

4 comments on “Memory Lane: Aunt Betty and the Mammoth

  1. It’s amazing how these simple kindnesses can be so meaningful. I have some housewares that were a housewarming gift from a now departed aunt. They are among my most prized possessions.

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