Aunt Roxanne….If You Can Hear Me….

Sometimes you just have to paint your nails red and go with it. Before my aunt passed away, one of my all time favorite things in the world to do was get manicures with Aunt Roxanne. And she always got red. She even had pretty red nails the day she was buried. That was just her. And let me tell ya, Aunt Rox knew how to make any crummy day not so crummy. She had that gift. There are still moments when I want to pick up my phone and dial her number just so I can hear her say, “Hello, Sweetie.”

She’d know exactly what to say to me today. She’d tell me exactly what I needed to hear instead of just what I wanted. She’d tell me that in the end, life has this silly way of always working itself out. She’d remind me that worrying gets me nowhere and then she’d want to plan a girls day out with me and I’d forget what troubles I’d even called her about to begin with. God, I wish I could hug her again and see her smile.

But since my Aunt Roxanne isn’t able to pick up the phone today, I’m sitting here at a desk, the sound of locker doors slamming and computers buzzing fill my ears, and I wonder so many things. You see, I’m a worrier. Not to be confused with warrior. I’m worried about finding a teaching job next year in my new town. I’m worried about ever making friends in my new town. And to be honest, right now, I hate my new town. I hate being away from my family. I don’t like not having any friends. I don’t even like learning the layout at the Wal-Mart in my new town. I feel like I’m starting at square one, which doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but seriously, I feel like it’s everything all at once. I’m trying really hard to bloom where I’ve been planted, but it’s oh so hard.

If I close my eyes, I can imagine my Aunt Roxanne sitting across from me at the Thai place we loved. She’d be wearing that blue maxi dress that looked so pretty with her eyes and she’d be laughing about how long it was and how hard it was to find clothes for someone as short and petite as herself. We had that conversation so many times. Then she’d tell me this: “Rachel, sweetie, stop for just a second. I know it’s hard right now. Change is hard sometimes. But God allows us to walk through a season of change because he’s stretching us and growing us for bigger things that are yet to come. One day you’ll look back and be so thankful for this time. Enjoy it. Don’t dwell on the trivial things that are going on right now. Focus on all the good around you.” And then I’d feel silly for ever even being worried or upset and we’d hop in the car and head straight to nail place for manicures and pedicures.

My sweet Aunt Roxanne……if you can hear me……I love you. I miss you. And I need one of your hugs today. Oh, and my nails are bright red, just like yours.