I really am not that familiar with the song, "Back Home Again in Indiana," other than I know that it is sung (usually by Jim Nabors) before the start of the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day Weekend. But, for the next 40-48 hours, it will be my theme song.
My Great-Aunt Millie died on Sunday afternoon. She was old. (I know that sounds so harsh) But, she had lived a very long life. She spent the last number of years in a nursing home. From what we were told, she quietly finished her lunch on Sunday, and fell asleep and woke up in heaven.
She had been a widow for many years. I vaguely remember when her husband passed away, but I was either in middle school or high school. (Maybe even elementary school??) So, for almost as long as I can remember her - she was by herself. They never had any children.
She wasn't alone. My grandmother, aunt, and great uncle all lived near each other in Southern Indiana. (Evansville area, to be exact) My dad and one of his cousins were especially close to Aunt Millie. I believe she even helped support Dad some as he went back to college in the mid-80s.
She was so very sweet -- and she had a sweet smile and the quirkiest "southern" accent. It was a southern Indiana accent, which is very different from the southern accent we hear in these parts. My sister can still do an amazing knock-off of Aunt Millie talking about the "Church of the Nazarene," and we break into fits of laughter every time she does it.
Things I remember:
She was a long-time member of the Nazarene church.
She was a devoted follower and avid watcher of Billy Graham.
She always kept an orderly, simple home.
She always had a cloth calendar than hung in her dining room/laundry room.
She always called my dad "Jimmy."
And, although I haven't seen her in a long, long time, I mourn her passing. But, because she immediately went to be with Jesus, I am rejoicing. I know death is a part of life. Sometimes I think I have come to grips with that. Other times, not so much.
Tomorrow morning (Tuesday) Edison and I will travel with my parents to Indiana. We will attend a visitation service. We will attend a funeral service. We will take part in an interment service. Then, on Wednesday, following the funeral and interment, we will drive home.
While there, I hope to show Edison some of his heritage. I want him to see where my parents, and their parents were born and raised. I want him to experience a little of what I experienced during visits to the "Watermelon Capital of the World" otherwise known as Gibson County, Indiana.
I want to re-introduce him to his great-aunt & uncle (my dad's sister & brother-in-law) who still live in Indiana. He met them many years ago. He needs to meet them again.
So we will travel. I have some stitchery projects to take along with me. I have synced my mp3 player with my two new Darius Rucker CDs that I received for Christmas. I have a couple of books that I have been wanting to read (two out of a very tall pile, mind you).
I'm taking my son.
Back home to my
home state. (Even though I only lived there a couple years)
- Back home again in Indiana
- And it seems that I can see
- The gleaming candlelight, still shining bright
- Thru the sycamores for me
- The new mown hay sends all its fragrance
- From the fields I used to roam
- When I dream about the moonlight on the Wabash
- Then I long for my Indiana home
I will remember and reflect on a life well-lived. And we will rejoice, through tears, for her homecoming to the home she's been longing to see.
Beulah land ... I'm longing for you,
And, some day, on thee I'll stand;
There my home shall be eternal.
Beulah land ... sweet Beulah land.
Rest in peace, Aunt Millie. You were a wonderful aunt, and a beautiful example of a devoted Christ follower. I'll see you one day. . . .