12 ¶ So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12 (KJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
I’ve been thinking a lot about Aunt Eunice lately. She passed away last month at the age of 105. She wasn’t really my aunt—she was Gwen Rockwood’s great-aunt—but I still always called her “Aunt Eunice.” Most people called her “Aunt Eunice” because she was everybody’s aunt.
Now allow me to prove that point. Aunt Eunice was one of my grandmother’s best friends. In a shoebox somewhere, I have a letter that my grandmother wrote to her. At the time the letter was written, my grandmother was about 94 and Aunt Eunice was almost 99. You see, they were very close in age. Yet and still, in the letter (and in life) my grandmother always addressed her dear friend as “Aunt Eunice.” There’s something wonderful about that.
One of the best things about Aunt Eunice is that she always remembered me. Even when she was over 100 years old (and only saw me about once every 3 years) she always recognized me and called me by name when she spotted me. She had a wonderful memory and a remarkably clear mind. One of the last times I saw her, she was busy unscrambling the “Jumble” puzzle out of the daily newspaper.
When my grandmother passed away (and was buried on Good Friday) in 2005, the Rockwoods and the Cashes spent Easter at the home of the Rules — Gwen’s parents. It was a houseful of folks, with people sleeping everywhere. Aunt Eunice made a bed on the couch in the living room. On Easter morning, Spencer and Seth Cash and Adam and Jack Rockwood all got up to find that, even though they were away from their homes, the Easter Bunny had not forgotten them. We asked Aunt Eunice if Peter Cottontail had awakened her when he delivered the baskets in the living room. She said, “Oh, no. I slept like a baby. Rabbits are kind of like cats. They have soft pads on their feet, and they don’t make any noise when they walk.”
Spencer (who was almost 14, making a bit of a joke) said, “Gosh, I wonder how the Easter Bunny knew we were here?”
Aunt Eunice replied, “These rabbits are smart, like you kids. They send ‘em to school. And then to college. They learn about everything.”
The last time I ever saw her was the Christmas shortly after her 103rd birthday. I had sent her a pretty calendar with beautiful paintings for each month of the year. She thanked me for the calendar, and told me she had looked at it and liked it very much. Then she looked me straight in the eye and said, “It’s kind of a shame, though.”
I didn’t understand what she meant, and I told her so. What was she talking about?
“It’s kind of a shame, though,” she repeated. “It’s kind of a shame to get such a beautiful calendar and not to get to use the whole thing.”
You see, because she was 103 (and had not been feeling the best) she didn’t think she’d live long enough to use the entire calendar. But Aunt Eunice was mistaken. She lived long enough to use that whole calendar, another whole calendar, and part of a third one. Aunt Eunice had more time than she thought.
The truth is, no matter how wise you are, you don’t know how much longer the Lord has allotted for you to live on this earth. You may be here for many more decades. You may be here only a few more days. Since none of us know how many calendars we’re going to need, let’s fill every page up with red-letter-days. Life is sweet when we make the most of each day and live every day for the Lord.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 25 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days he works at a public school.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 19) and Seth (age 16) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where when someone tells an ancient funny story, the Preacher’s sons often say, “Oh, that joke is as old as Aunt Eunice.”) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.