Today marks the one year anniversary of Aunt Sha’s death. She and Uncle Ted died within weeks of one another last year – he in July; she in September. They will be remembered forever for their extraordinary love for one another. Their life together was a true love story.
Here’s what I know: Ted was about 20 years old and in the Air Force when they met in the early 1950’s. Sha (actually Sharon) was working at restaurant in downtown St. Louis. She was only seventeen. On a dare she accepted a date with Ted. Six weeks later they were married – the rest is history. They remained “in love” with one another for the rest of their lives.
They raised three children. Uncle Ted retired from the Air Force and they settled in Western Kentucky where he worked until a second retirement. Aunt Sha became a nurse. Uncle Ted became a Sunday school teacher and a Deacon at their beloved First Baptist Church. They made a nice life for themselves while their children grew and their grandchildren and great-grandchildren came along.
For nearly 60 years they shared a life together that would serve as an example to all that knew them. If you’re searching for role models, you can look to Aunt Sha and Uncle Ted. Loving, devoted, caring, giving, selfless and always willing to reach out to others in need. As long as I knew them they always had a plaque that hung over a doorway in their home that read: “As for me and my household; we will serve the Lord” – Joshua 24:15. And they did!
But more importantly (to me anyway) was their love for one another. They just loved each other – pure and simple as that. There wasn’t a decision that was made that didn’t reflect their concern for one another. If it was something as simple as where to have dinner – it wouldn’t do to have chosen someplace that they wouldn’t both enjoy. When it came to big decisions the same consideration was given as well. There was plenty of sacrifice (so that one could give the other what was needed or wanted) but always with love and NEVER with resentment or a need to get something in return. They gave from their hearts.
I believe that the greatest gift that they gave to one another were themselves. They cherished their time together. They were their own best companions. And they created such a home full of love that all that entered were better for having been there. Whenever I think of hospitality and what it truly means I think of the house on Mayfield Highway. It will always be my second home. It will always remain in my heart as a place of laughter, love and refuge. Whenever we would call to say we would like to visit the answer was always the same – YES. “How soon will you be here? We just need a little time to get things ready.”
Aunt Sha and Uncle Ted treated one another as precious jewels – never forgetting to thank God for the blessing of their life together. I’ve learned a lot from my own parents but I think that I have learned how to love Deb by the example Uncle Ted gave me. And that may be the greatest gift that I have ever received. I miss them both so much but I am comforted to know that they are in heaven together “getting things ready” for when we can join them.
Here’s a link to a song that always makes me think of Uncle Ted and how he could find whatever it was that Aunt Sha “needed”.