Ode to Audine

I received a call from my cousin’s wife on Saturday night.  She told me that my Aunt Audine had succumbed to pancreatic cancer an hour before.

My aunt was 86, and had only recently gotten the news that she had cancer.  Everyone thought she would live a good deal longer.

I thought she would live forever.

Audine was of solid southern stock.  A feisty force of nature with a thick Texas drawl. A fiercely devoted Longhorn fan, her lawn sported not Santa at Christmas, but a life sized Bevo, infamous mascot of U.T.  When I was growing up, she had a dachshund aptly named Ass-guard.  Although as an adult, she tried to convince me he was named after the capital city of the Norse Gods.  But knowing my Aunt Audine, I’m not buying it.

She was my mother’s only sister, 9 years her senior.

We talked monthly on the phone with wonderfully long visits.  She entertained me with stories from my mother’s impetuous youth, and reminded me of long ago lost great aunts, uncles, and cousins.  My grandmother hailed from a family that boasted of 18 children,  my grandfather had 13, so there were many relatives to keep straight.

Because of my Aunt Audine, I finally grew to understand my mother’s ways and why ours was such a troubled relationship when I was growing up.  Information I so desperately wished I’d had when my mother was alive.  I feel as though I could have repaired much damage.

My aunt was my bridge to those people that I loved dearly, and lost early in my life.  And now she has joined them and my heart is breaking.  I will miss her for as long as I live.

(Audine is on the railing in front, behind her are my grandparents, and the curly girl was my mother.)

I rest in the knowledge that she is now in the presence of God and is whole and without pain.  My prayers are with my cousins and their families, for they have lost their matriarch.

God bless you, sweet Audine.  You are so very loved and missed.

19 Responses to Ode to Audine

  • Deedee my heart breaks for you, and your family. So sorry. You are in my prayers.

  • Yes DeeDee – I think you have said it best. She was a one of a kind and full of life. Thanks for her tribute. Marvelous!!!!

  • praying for you and your extended family. Losing someone like that is very hard!

  • You and your family have our condolences. May God give you comfort and peace.

  • So sorry – never easy to say good-bye.

  • what precious memories you have, thanks to your Aunt Audine. And thanks for sharing her with us.

  • Glad she could be that bridge for you. That was a beautiful purpose and gift. As you know she is in with the Lord, I just pray for comfort for you and your family in your loss.

  • What wonderful memories you have of your Aunt. I am praying for you and your family.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. My aunt passed away earlier this year and I will forever mourn her loss. What a comfort to know she is now in the presence of Jesus and you will see her again someday. Praying for comfort and peace during this sad time.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m glad you have wonderful memories to help you at this time.

  • Sounds like she was a precious lady…thank you for introducing her to us. So sorry for the loss you and yours are facing. Hugs!

  • My heart is hurting for you sweet DeeDee. What a gift she was in your life and I’m glad she was able to give you a better understanding of your Mom. You and your family will be in my prayers.

  • So sorry, DeeDee. She sounds like a treasure and a real gift from God. Blessings to you and yours.

  • So sorry for your loss deedee .
    My own dear Aunty has been gone for a long long time but sometimes, when I look in the mirror ,there she is smiling back at me , her own face reflected in mine.

  • I had the immense pleasure of being Mrs. Whiting’s neighbor for the past 11 years. She was a tremendous woman. We will all miss her…..but I know that God has embraced her and that God has wrapped his arms around her family with gentle kindess and love for them.

  • What an absolutely beautiful and thoughtful tribute. Thinking of and praying for you and your family during this season.

    I adored Chris’ comment that although her aunt has been gone forever, sometimes, when she looks in the mirror, she still sees her in her own face. Lovely!

  • I lost my great aunt to the same cancer less than a month after she was diagnosed. It’s a horrible and fast moving disease. I’ll always remember her quirks and my family talks about her often. It’s so hard to loose those wonderful family members that we thought would live forever.

  • Praying for God’s comfort for your family. It’s hard when family icons pass, especially when you realize an era passes with them. My great uncle Troy was like that. We miss him a lot still.

  • Thanks for these words. You did say it best, she was the matriarch and we will miss her until we see her again! I had never seen that picture before. It is wonderful to see. It was a lovely service. She would have liked it very much. Wish you could have been there, but it’s not about the ceremony; it’s about her and her legacy. I never could have imagined how much I would miss her! She was so proud of you! 🙂