Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Aunt Donna

Last week this world of ours lost a wonderful person, but Heaven gained one very unique angel.
While accepting some earthly recognition for all the great things she had done, she gave God all the glory, honor and praise. She then bowed her head. My mom, her only sister, didn't know if she was going to pray or if she was crying. My Aunt Donna was having a stroke. The last words she uttered here on Earth were, "Take me home."

My heart grieves for my mother's loss, but at the same time my heart is joyful because I know last week Donna heard the words, "Well done my good and faithful servant" as she was welcomed into the Heavenly kingdom. Don't we all long to hear those words one day? Donna lived her life in such an amazing way that there is no room for doubt that she is in the presence of her Savior for eternity. Her children and grandchildren spoke of her as a 'simple' woman. A woman who didn't really know how to start a Pregnancy Center, but she did. A woman who did so much for others that there is wonder as to how or when she had the time, because she always had time for you. I always knew she fought for the unborn, I knew she took in young mothers and helped them get back on their feet so they could raise their children. I knew she did much work for her church. I remember when she ran for state representative and when she would go to Washington to rally against Roe vs. Wade. We always thought we would see her on CNN being hauled away in the paddywagon!
As a child I remember Donna being shy and timid. Life was hard for her, she had four boys in four years and she raised them alone while trying to work to support them. Those boys were rambunctious too! Some babysitters ran away and never came back! This is the experience that gave Donna a heart to help those young mothers. See, in the early '70's Donna met Garland, and he rescued her and her boys. He let Donna be the person she was meant to be and encouraged her to grow. He helped mold the boys into the wonderful men they are today. He changed that timid woman into a person who did not care what this world thought of her, but followed what her heart told her to do. The unending line at her viewing and memorial service were tribute to all the lives she touched.
When did she have the time to all that she did? I don't know, because if I called her, she always had time to talk. If you wanted to take a road trip to see her, she always made big plans for us to have a fun filled day with her. When Mom was sick, she was there, providing a room for us at a nearby hotel, a loving hug and an understanding ear. I always felt and knew that she was there for me and my siblings, but when did she have the time? She had four boys and their wives, as well as countless grandchildren, who all felt the same; she always had time for them and made them feel special and loved. I want to be like that....but where do you find the time? I am going to work hard to find the time. I have a feeling that Donna asked God for help, I will do that too.

Here is Donna with an old friend from her school days at Tunnelton, we all know her as the Lt. Governor of Indiana. Donna was as comfortable at the Statehouse lobbying for things she considered worth fighting for as she was feeding her chickens, or turkeys, or fainting goats. You never knew what kind of critter you would come upon when you went to visit Aunt Donna!
She went and got herself a camper a few years ago and parked it near where they grew up out at Ditney Ridge. She took my mom along with her. To say Mom was not crazy about camping is an understatement, but she went so Donna wouldn't be alone out in the boonies. Mom had the time of her life, and oh my, the adventures they shared! They were like children again and I know my mother cherishes the memory of those times.

I wish I had all the words to describe what a wonderful person my aunt was. These words of mine are just so inadequate to express the kind of life she lived or to tell of all the good she did in her life. She fought for life, whether it be an unborn child or an elderly person near the end of life, life was important! And I believe her life was one that God is well pleased with.


  1. I hope to grow up to be like your Aunt Donna...How blessed you were to have her! I am so sorry for your loss.....

  2. oh how sweet. I had an Aunt Jean, that sounds just like your Aunt Donna. I have a feeling they'll be spending some time together now. What a sweet tribute. xo 'take me home' priceless...