Sunday, December 15, 2013
Aunt June would be proud that I have my makeup on today. She once told me she was praying very hard for me to find a good Godly man, but if I didn't start wearing that makeup it might take a little bit longer. We were on family vacation several years ago and I remember Aunt June doing somehint hilarious and I asked her if I could speak at her funeral. I think she looked and mom, then looked back at me and said something like "Ofcourse Shug! But you got to make it funny." We all have our June stories. She was truly one of a kind. As I am up here I realize I am speaking for so many of you. I want to focus on the characteristics of June that we all cherished. Aunt June was hands down the funnest person I have ever met. She had fun wherever she was and whatever she was doing. I think that is why we were all drawn to her. She embodied the word fun. I remember going through a difficult time in High School and I asked God to point me to a verse so I would know He was real. I opened up to Psalms 27:13 "I am confident of this I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." That stood out to me and makes me think of my Aunt June. She truly saw the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. She truly lived life to the fullest. She remains the one person I have always wanted to be like. We were celebrating my Mom's 60th Birthday and Aunt June took the bouncers hat off and put it on her and got everyone out on the dance floor. She begged my friend and I to stay out late while everyone else was tired and wanted to go home. I believe she was 84 or 85 at that time. Aunt June was always so youthful. I am sure you have heard the story of her winning the bikini contest at age 60 against girls in their 20s. She was fearless. Aunt June loved her family and friends. She was married to my Uncle Todd for 64 years. I could listen to Uncle Todd tell stories of how he knew she was the one and how blessed their life was together. She was a mother, grandmother and loved her boys...Todd, Michael, Steve, Charlie, and Chad. I think the greatest relationship I was able to witness was the one she had with my mom Janice and my Aunt Judy. They were the 3 amigos. Aunt Judy was a flower girl in her wedding and she tells me 'There wasn't a time I didn't know my Aunt June.' June was so present in their lives. I know my mom and aunt treasure their many trips together, their numerous shopping sprees particularly at TJMaxx, and the countless hours they spent on the phone. There is no way to express the bond the 3 had. And when my sister Jessa and I were apart of the group, we knew we were apart of something special and rare. Aunt June was such a happy person. Uncle Todd has said she never woke up in a bad mood. She never wanted to talk about anything sad and I honestly don't remember her talking bad about others. She touched so many people...Fayetville, Newland, anywhere she went. I posted something on the internet on my Facebook account honoring June and the response was tremendous. Some people had only met her once or twice and shared how much she meant to them. My cousin Melissa Graybeal although not blood related wrote about Aunt June and Uncle Todd taking her in one summer. 'I think she wanted a little girl to spoil, so she borrowed me. She flew me home and it was the first time I had every flown. It was so glamorous!' June was always taking children into her home. She did the same with Mom and Jundy then this continued with Jessa and I. We would stay with her during the summers at her mountain home. We would pick black-eyed susans, look for lost golfballs, and go to Grandfather Mountain. I remember we went blueberry picking and she went on and on about my sister and being city girls and how we had never picked blueberries, could he believe that? The farmer went to get our baskets, and she said to my sister and I, 'Guess what I have never picked them either.' Aunt June also had a way of making people feel so good about themselves. I remember programming her VCR so we could go to Grandfather Mountain and watch our soaps when we got back, Young and the Restless and Bold and the Beautiful. She was so impressed and I think she called everyone she knew. And lastly, and most importantly, although there are so many thing I could say about my Aunt; I will conclude by sayinh she knew and loved the Lord. The few times I saw tears in her eyes, it was tears of joy talking about her Lord and Savior. She was so grateful for such a beautiful life. My friend Stephanie said at first she thought it was sad that June passed on Thanksgiving, but the more she thought about it maybe God planned it that way so when we think of the anniversary of this sad event,m we are reminded to be thankful for what we have. I believe this was a message she wanted to leave as part of her legacy. She taught me so much...to be thankful, to let go, to have fun, to cherish every moment, to focus on the positive, and to never forget God in your life. It is hard for those she left behind and it is hard to say goodbye. But let's remember she is having the biggest party of her life and one day we will join here. It was an honor to be her niece and honor to be here. Thank you for letting me share.