Long, long week, boys and girls. Lost an elderly Aunt this past week. She was 90 and she had recently retired from her job as a Walmart Greeter. Yep, you read that right. So, if you are one of those people who look down on and make jokes about Walmart greeters, well . . . join the club. I used to be one, too. Until my Auntie became one, that is. The pastor who spoke at her funeral said she was the only door greeter who was never at the door. That doesn't surprise me. She knew no strangers. And if you wanted to remain a stranger to her, she took that as a challenge. I'm pretty sure there are people all over Texas with permanent pinch-marks on their cheeks from my Aunt's loving, but strong, fingers.
I learned a couple of surprising things about her at her "going away", party. The pastor said she made it a point to charge Sam Walton for a cup of coffee when he visited the store one day, and that she was a "Rosie the Riveter" at a plant in Fort Worth during WWII. If you're too young to know what that is, it's time you Googled it. After I heard that, I realized there were lots of things about my dear Auntie that I didn't know.
Like the time the creek rose and she had to get my dad and several of the younger children out of the house and across the creek by driving an old tractor. She only had one trip, and several children, so she put the younger ones in a big wash tub and set it on the plow attachment and away they went. Two of the older girls were straddling the hood of the tractor--it was a large family--so she couldn't see that one side of the road had completely washed out. Into the water they went. And away floated the wash tub full of toddlers. Needless to say, she and the older girls dove in and hauled the wash tub back; but it was okay, Dad said they didn't even get wet.
I have a few more stories I could tell here, things I learned at the funeral that surprised me, but let me just close this by telling you something that didn't surprise me: the number of people who came to say goodbye. Some folks said there were 500, some said it was more like 600. I didn't count, but I know there were people of all ages, races, and economic incomes. And they had all come to say goodbye to their favorite door greeter. Nope, she never knew a stranger. I would love to have been there when she met St. Peter. Wonder if she pinched his cheeks the way she always did mine?