Dear Aunt Nell: Birthday Season!

Dear Aunt Nell,
​The holiday season will soon be upon us. I love the holidays, don’t you? But before the more festive holidays, our family has several other celebrations.


In the short span of a few weeks, family birthdays abound: mother, siblings, and granddaughter. Tom’s family does a great job of looking after their mom. For several years they have gathered to get her house ready for winter to celebrate her birthday, offering service instead of presents.

It was evenings of fun and energy when the extended families gathered to celebrate Tom’s sisters’ 60th birthdays at their favorite restaurants. Isn’t it the best when families gather and share the stories that make them unique?

For I will show you lessons from our history, stories handed down to us from former generations.
Psalm 78:2  TLB

PictureJust look at your sweet smile, Aunt Nell! (2nd from the left) I love this pic of the Herndon Boys and the women who loved them…and me.

I remember several years on February 28 Mama remarking about your leap year birthday. Weird how I can remember that, but don’t really recall celebrating Herndon birthdays as an extended family. Thanksgiving, Christmas, church and family dinners, and ice cream socials on the “lawn”, but not birthdays.

Maybe the important thing to remember is not the occasion for gathering with the ones we love so much as the gathering and loving. I still see you, Mama, and the other aunts sitting around the kitchen table at Granddaddy’s after cleaning up from a family dinner.

There you were in starched dresses and aprons, smoking, talking, laughing, together…that’s important. (Okay, maybe not the smoking.) What a vibrant picture you gave me of the camaraderie among women!

That’s the kind of picture I want my granddaughters to have: the loving and the gathering. A picture that will linger long after the cake is eaten and the presents are forgotten.

If I forget again next February to send you a birthday card, Aunt Nell, please know you are in my thoughts, prayers, and wonderful memories.

Love you!

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