August Turak

Author Consultant Speaker

It's Good To Be A Saint

Turak_Aunt_1Several weeks ago my brother Tom and I went to Myrtle beach to see our Aunt Helen and her children our cousins.

My Aunt Helen is my father's younger sister and I simply adore her.  When I was a kid we couldn't afford vacations, but for me spending a couple weeks every summer visiting my Aunt Helen and my Uncle Rudy was all the vacation I needed.

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Turak_Aunt_2She was more than a second mother to me.  For example, she would insist on tucking me in about five times every night, and with each tuck she added another  blanket until I would wake up the next morning tired from the weight of all the blankets! I still love to tease her about that.

My Uncle Rudy passed away some years ago, and now my Aunt Helen splits her time between her two children Nancy and Ronald.  We all met at Nancy's house and Aunt Helen proudly showed me the private bedroom and sitting room Nancy and her husband Wim have for her.

Now in her 90's she spends  her afternoons doing the work she loves: Hand making rosary beads that she then sends to her sister, my Aunt Maggie, for poor people in foreign countries.

I asked her if it was hard work and she said, "No, I like to pray while I do it. Sometimes these old fingers of mine get tired and ache and I want to quit. But then I think, 'I'll do one more for some poor lost soul" and the next thing you know I've done ten!"

I've thought about this story a lot since I returned.  My Aunt Helen's story proves once again that we always do our best work when we forget about ourselves and offer it to someone or something bigger than ourselves.

Mel Brooks famously said, "It's good to be the king."  But when I see how healthy, active, happy, and spiritually fulfilled my Aunt Helen is I'd counter, "It's good to be a saint."

(By the way special thanks to my cousin Nancy and her husband Wim Pastoor for having us in for the weekend! )