delma full

I’ve known Aunt Delma longer than any other blood relative; she has known me all my life.  She was only three years older than I, so she probably doesn’t remember those years when I was the baby.  I wonder when she first held me.

I don’t remember much about Delma until the teen years came about and as all kids do I watched her to know how to handle those years.  She was the first of our family to go to high school; I was second.  She was the first to go to college; I was the second.  She was first to move away from home; I was second.  Her move took her north to the Denver area; my move took me south to the Oklahoma City area.  She married an Indian; I married an Englishman.  Rather unusual choices in those days.  I guess it showed a bit of adventure in both of us.

Delma moved back to the country; I stayed in the city.  She taught in a county school and in a town of about 2500 people; I taught in an urban area.  The students she taught became fixtures in her life; the ones I taught passed on to others.  I soon lost contact with them; they lost contact with me.   I think her influence was of more value.

She had neighbors she knew.  She worked her yard and grew a garden.  She canned vegetables, and burned tumble weeds.  She quilted and crocheted.  She knew the neighbors next door, next block, and across the town a piece.   But that’s not all. She developed a friendship with an artist in New York City who made several visits to Delma’s house and took some of Delma’s artistic handwork and put it on exhibit in NYC.  Me?  I made bulletin board backgrounds in the school halls!

She is expert at remembering birthdays.  Every year I receive a card with a variety of family and church tid-bits.  Kinda like using google for trivia notes.  I didn’t get my card this year because she was in the hospital.  I have a hard time with birthdays.  Fortunately I had three grandchildren born on the 5th of the month which was my wedding anniversary.  So I just have to remember months to fit the days.  The only birthday I consistently remember is Jesus’ on December 25.  And now I’m told that is not really his birthday!  I do know mine but have to be reminded by FB or the day goes without remembrance.  To prove my point – I’m posting this birthday remembrance to her on March 4th.  Her birthday was yesterday – I think.

Has she suffered grief?  Must have.  She has lost mom, dad, husband, son, six brothers and one sister.  But the only tears I see are those shed in love for Jesus, when she gets the “jitters” in church.  She is not a complainer nor a whiner.

Sickness and pain?  Two or three rounds (or more) with cancer and chemo treatments.  Failing sight in both eyes, but she always reports about any treatment that seemed to help.  As I said before, “No complaining, no whining.”

My aunt Delma is 85 years old as of yesterday.  She is a lady who has never worn short sleeves, never put on nail polish, never worn make-up, never seen a movie, never owned a television, never worn jeans, never cut her hair as an adult, never had a perm, never worn a ring.  What do you think?  Religious fanatic?  Cram religion down your throat?  Judgmental?  Prejudiced?  Holier than thou? I’ll guarantee none of those fit.

Then what label would I put on her? Old time Christian.  Full of love, integrity, good will, knowledge, wisdom.  Did she put too much value on modesty of dress and demeanor?  I’ll just say she has been a wonderful and loved member of our family for these 85 five years.  She has been the picture of one who followed Col. 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”  Those are her noteworthy garments.

Happy Birthday, Aunt Delma.  From me, of course.  Who else would be late?

(The picture was Delma, freshman in 1946.  A rare picture because I have never seen another in which she had her hair down.)


About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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49 Responses to MEET MY AUNT DELMA

  1. dawnlizjones says:

    A beautiful legacy! I would love to meet her!

  2. shoreacres says:

    What a delightful birthday gift for her, and a nice gift for us, too. A bit more modesty might do us all some good. I’m glad to know there are people like her still around. Short sleeves or long don’t matter to me, but “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience”? Oh, my, yes.

  3. pamkirst2014 says:

    What a lovely description–I feel like I’ve met your wonderful aunt!

  4. Faye says:

    What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful lady. To both of you May the Lord God pour upon you both…… His richest Grace, Blessings and Peace in the Name of our Beloved Saviour. a-men.

  5. theturtle says:

    Delighted to “meet” your lovely aunt .

  6. oneta hayes says:

    She is a rare mixture of old and new culture, but no mix on her values. I didn’t mention her own family except to say she raised three sons and one had passed away. She has families from all three sons. I don’t know them well, but she loves them dearly.

  7. luckyjc007 says:

    I enjoyed reading about you aunt. She sounds like a very special person.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Thank you, luckyjc, She is a novelty in this day. Authentic to the bone! She lives almost 400 miles from me, so we will be limited in time together now more than ever. The miles haven’t changed, but the bodies have!

  8. Now this sounds like a lady to meet. A very rare breed in these times. A classic.

  9. artseafartsea says:

    Beautiful story.

  10. Pingback: Featured Posts # 13… Let me share your post links. | a cooking pot and twistedtales

    • oneta hayes says:

      As I look back, I agree. She was an adventurous lady, determined, and productive. I find a great deal of bias against people who do not conform in ways that she did not (dress, television). Occasionally I get into a blog which is so hate filled against Christians, it sure makes me wonder if we need a new definition of religious bigotry. I’m pretty sure she would be mocked if she walked down some city streets, but she is held in high esteem her town folks, neighbors and family.

  11. mandibelle16 says:

    Delma sounds like an amazing woman having lived a living wonderful full and long life. I’m sure yours has been pretty interesting too. We compare ourselves to people who we look up to but I think we all have a story as you must to be a blogger/writer. It is a wonderful compliment to your Aunt to say she meets fulfills the words in Colossions 3:12. Wonderful post!

    • oneta hayes says:

      Hi, mandibelle16. It is nice to meet you. I thank you for your sweet response. Just a glimpse of my own striving for Col. 3:12. A few months ago, I decided to memorize that scripture and get to work on that project for myself. It was only a few hours later that I was “less than kind” to a teller at the bank. I don’t remember what I did, but my spirit got a nudge from the Holy Spirit. I reached out and took her hand, apologized and told her about how I had just blown my commitment to put that scripture in place in my life. She was kind. Sometimes we have to fall flat on our face in humility before we can make any progress. I think I saw that you are following me. I’ll hop right over and return the follow, so I will see you around.

      • mandibelle16 says:

        Lovely to hear your story. You are not the only one who struggles with being kind and helpful to people. It is easier written for me then in real life sometimes. Especially if somebody is rude or annoying or you aren’t feeling good. Then I pray, help me be kind and often I feel better and the right words come out of my mouth. ” Kill them with Kindness,” not scripture but a wise saying none the less, looking forward to more of your posts 🙂

  12. astridswords says:

    Beautiful story! Sounds like you two have a memorable history together =)

    • oneta hayes says:

      Thanks for the comment, Astrid. I would like to spend a day with her again. My family generally have reunions in July. Maybe then. I am so thankful for faith to believe this world is not all. That will be my hope for reunion. 😀

  13. Hayley says:

    A wonderful portrait of your Aunt Delma. She sounds like a traditional lady with many life skills, a lady who has made a worthy impact on her students, community, as well as her niece Oneta – thank you for sharing xx

    • oneta hayes says:

      It is a bit sad for me to think of our young people and coming generations to not knowing these sorts of people. In my set of people, we love to read Amish stories – not because that is our belief but because it is so admirable to see people who live by their convictions. Certainly when their convictions harm no one. Mamas and dads together teaching children to hoe gardens goes well with me. Of course many would argue that it hurts the children. Thanks for reading, dear one.

      • Hayley says:

        I love hearing of these traditional tales – I’ve always been curious about how things were done before the ‘modern’ era and all of this technology. I love old periodic houses and vow to live in one one day, I love periodic dramas and films…I also prefer to write with good old fashioned pen and paper, I guess I’m a traditional girl at heart, though I have little experience of the traditional ways since I came along in the 80’s – I’ve always been intrigued however xx

  14. Ken Isom says:

    What a wonderful tribute and a reminder that timeless values never become outdated to the discerning.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Thanks for commenting, Ken. I rue the fact that most people stereotype these sorts as pious hypocrites. Not so, the ones I knew. That’s what I classify as religious bigotry that the news and political scene ignore. Take a group like the Amish. Most all deserving of admiration for their work ethic, family caring and teaching, and neighbor helping, but what a fit can be thrown if one spanks a child. I’m not sure about that – maybe they can still spank legally. I don’t know.

  15. Oneta, you are a treasure. Please write more. I love reading your posts.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Wow! It was time for me to get a boost. This does it. Very sweet of you. (Now if someone would just gift me $400 for the paint repair on the car I hit in the parking lot!) See I told you I needed a boost. 😀 😀

      • Awwww, I am so sorry. Parking lots are the worst for that. The last accident I had was backing into a car in my school parking lot. I didn’t look, it was my fault. Luckily no one was hurt. Are you ok?

        • oneta hayes says:

          I had no idea I did it, but I misjudged when turning and nicked the paint on a front bumper (thankfully no dent). I didn’t feel a thing but it left a scratch about one and a half inches long. I had to pay for the bumper to be repainted. It was my liability. I didn’t believe it until I saw the red paint on my bumper. Yep, guilty as charged! I was driving my husband’s car and it is a lot longer than mine. I think that was the reason I messed up. That sounds like a goof-up I could turn into a blog once I’m over the $400 pain. It’s still not funny enough to turn on my humor switch! 😀

  16. What a lovely tribute to your aunt x

  17. calmkate says:

    What a beautiful post and two lovely ladies!
    Only a week ago I started writing a post about my great aunt, not up yet, because i think it’s a great idea to both immortalise special women and for others to read about their amazing lives.

  18. reocochran says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your 3 years older Aunt Delma. Lovely character description with such warmth and grace through much loss. 🙂 xo Any friend of Natalie’s is a friend of mine.

    • oneta hayes says:

      It’s great to meet you by way of Natalie. I will be coming to your place also to browse a bit. I just got a letter from Aunt Delma last week. She is still determined to keep doing what she can. She said she is crocheting head bands. And she said her birthday is March 18th – I was more wrong than I thought!

  19. What a wonderful, Godly woman! We all need to be more like her!
    Thanks for the follow!

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