The picture above was taken by Carol Dubay, who went with me on a 730+ mile round trip….in one day… to see Aunt Alice. That one day was November 19, 2016. Aunt Alice was so surprised! Thank you, Carol Dubay, for helping to make that memory!
I don’t remember when or where I first heard it, but I’ve heard “Begin with the end in mind” for decades.. It’s one of Stephen Covey’s habits in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. When I was on the board of the Association of Junior Leagues, International, I was privileged to get to hear Mr. Covey speak. But I digress. As a strategic planner, “Begin with the end in mind” is a sentence I remember often.
My Aunt Alice would be 100 years old today, January 26, if she were living. She died in 2017 at the age of 96 and a half. (When you get to that age, you count the half birthdays, too!) For months, I’ve planned todays blog to be a tribute to her, and it is. It’s just not how I had initially planned it. But more will follow at a later date, I promise!
Begin with the end in mind. I spoke this eulogy at Aunt Alice’s funeral. Certainly that was a celebration, a commemoration of the end of her earthy life. So my tribute to Aunt Alice begins in this way, today.
Alice Bailey brightened the lives of all of us gathered here this afternoon to remember her.
One of the gifts she gave us was her love of laughter. We are told in Proverbs 17:22 that a cheerful heart is good medicine. Aunt Alice certainly lived that verse out in her daily life. Anyone who knew her knew that she loved to laugh and she loved to make others laugh. She loved good jokes. Several weeks before the last presidential election, in 2016, she told me a joke. I’m going to tell it to the best of my recollection. It certainly is not my intention to offend anyone here today, and let me apologize in advance if I do.
When Tip O’Neill was Speaker of the House, a little boy was selling newborn puppies, puppies that had not yet opened their eyes. The child saw Speaker O’Neill and asked, “Mr. Speaker, would you like to buy a Democratic puppy?” The Speaker didn’t have a need for a puppy, so the child moved on. Several weeks later, the lad still hadn’t sold all the puppies. He again saw Speaker O’Neill, and asked, “Mr. Speaker, would you like to buy a Republican puppy?” The Speaker said, “I thought they were Democratic puppies.” The boy said, “They were, but now their eyes have been opened.”
As I was doing some research a while back, I happened upon the following quote. I think it’s appropriate for me to share today. They’re words Aunt Alice would say, I feel sure. The words were written by Regina Britt and appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer; I am paraphrasing just a bit. “My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest. Remembering all of you and how truly I was blessed.”
Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift, and Aunt Alice was a wonderful gift to all of us who had the privilege of knowing her. Thank You, dear Father God, for giving us the gift of Aunt Alice.
Truly, Alice Moore Haines Bailey lived a life of great significance.
Copyright, January 23, 2021, by Rebecca A. Henderson