Her life story is worthy of a television drama as an example of somebody met the circumstances of a very long life and is still thriving. She's not done yet at age 90.
My Aunt Aileen Anderson, originally from Bay City, Michigan and now in a rehab facility in Charleston, West Virginia, is one of my personal heroes. She's one of 12 children born to a farm family in the Thumb of Michigan. She's my mother's sister and she's always been part of my life.
Her mother and father both died while she was a young child leaving her many brothers and sisters as her care-providers. It's an amazing story of how my aunts and uncles on my mom's side banded together to care for each other. It wasn't perfect. It was real life that was influenced by the Depression and by World War II. But they did it.
And if you ask Aunt Aileen, she would point to one reason for the family of siblings staying together. It was the direct hand of God and Jesus in their lives. It's the same explanation she gives now for how she made it through losing her husband of 71 years and having her leg amputated in one week. She was not able to be at his burial service in Michigan because of the surgery.
When I talked to her on the phone this past week, she said she's the luckiest person in the world. She's been blessed, she says and it's because of the hope she has in Jesus.
I think of all the dinners I had at her house as a kid and as an adult. I think of the times that I stayed with her family when I was a child during times my mother was in the hospital. She was always ready to help and she did it and continues to do it with a smile.
Christian-singer Matt Redmond sings about having 10,000 Reasons to give God thanks. Aunt Aileen you're part of my 10,000 Reasons.