Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Meet My "Aunt Gracie"

Because of my special Aunt Gracie, I have been inspired to be a better aunt for all of my nieces and nephews.

Grace started working with Southern Bell as a switchboard operator fresh out of high school. She worked with this company until she retired as Marketing Operations Manager 42 years later and the company bought out by A T & T.

She and her wonderful husband, Johnny Rodriguez are very hard workers. I remember their small apartment in New Orleans where my cousin, Janice and I would go to spend some time with our Aunt Gracie.

During this time of my life I was exposed to some new things that my immediate family did not do on a regular basis. I love the memories of her taking us swimming, after purchasing us new swimming caps and I learned how to float. I was so proud of myself. Another time, I remember going to the beauty shop with her and out to breakfast. One special memory was when Janice and I both bought musical instruments from a toy store. One day she took us to get a professional picture taken. Aunt Gracie made you always feel like you were beautiful, talented and all of your inspiring ideas you ever shared with her were brilliant. She called me Donna Rooster. From that small apartment, and a lot of hard work, she and Uncle Johnny moved to a beautiful split level home they designed and still live in to the present.

Her purses were always filled with lots of change. We knew we could always find a hefty amount of shopping money or to buy a special treat.

Aunt Gracie is a real giver. She has blessed us so many times.

Aunt Gracie has always been a great example of taking care of yourself. I remember seeing her and her sister, Aunt Patsy, exercise. Her clothes are always those of a leader.
"I buy the clothes that I really like" she said, "not just because they are on sale."
Her hair and make up always tastefully done.

Grace and Johnny have a real love for God and their fellow man. They have shown their love for their family and friends by always traveling if necessary to be with them on their special "red letter" days.

I could go on and on, but the one thing that really draws people to Grace and Johnny is their really really fun personalities. When they are around, you can always expect to laugh and have a great time. Grace is the person you would want to go with you on a cruise or to a party. I will always remember how she made us laugh when visiting us at the hospital when my Dad was very sick with cancer. She and Aunt Patsy made a very difficult time filled with some really pleasant memories.

Thank you Aunt Gracie for believing in me, encouraging me, and showing love to my Mother and family. Thank you for being a great example of how an aunt can make such a difference in the lives of your nieces and nephews. I pray that I will be able to impact my nieces the way you have done for me.