My Dear Aunt Anne 

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  • **This week we are delighted to share Elisabeth’s precious recollection of another mentor, her dear Aunt Anne.

    My father, Philip E. Howard Jr., was the eldest of four children. His youngest sister was our dear Aunt Anne who never married, but gave herself, in quiet, hidden ways, unstintingly to others. She cared for her parents until they died. How I loved her! She called me “Betsy Bubble,” and when we were vacationing in our beautiful Gale Cottage in Franconia, New Hampshire, one summer she took me into the woods and taught me the names of flowers and ferns and helped me press them in a book. What a thrill it was to find one day, in a deep and soggy place near “our” river, just a single wild orchid, too beautiful to cut. I went back again and again to look and marvel at this exquisite flower, planted there by the Lord Himself who surely must have gazed with perfect satisfaction at His precious handiwork. Do we take time to look and listen and adore? 

    Aunt Anne is over ninety now, totally deaf, living in a Christian retirement home in Pennsylvania, able to steer her walker and smile, hoping always to cheer others—who, alas, may not always wish to be cheered! God bless her—a quiet, gracious, loving soul—she will have her great reward in heaven.

    **Excerpt originally published in the July/August 2001 Elisabeth Elliot Newsletter.