Great Loss

This year has been one of great loss for my family. 


My cousin, Tonja, died earlier in the year of colon cancer.  Tonja was my hero, and I still can’t really describe the emptiness I feel when I think of her death.  I wish I could tell you what she meant to me, what an amazing person she was, and how she somehow managed to make me feel special even though I [felt I] was a nobody to the rest of the family!  Tonja faced many really difficult things in her life, things many don’t even know, but she was a fighter!  She was really something, and I miss her so much.

Reunion_tournament_0013_resize  Reunion_tournament_0016_resize   

I spoke recently of our loss of Morgan, my nephew’s wife.  Morgan was also a very special lady, and she added a special spark to our family.  Morgan was one of the most open-armed people I ever knew – she accepted everyone!  Unless, of course, you messed with her family!  Morgan’s loss is felt deeply by us all, but especially by her husband and 12 year old daughter.


Tonight we have experienced another great loss in the Allen Family.   I’m sure we are not the only family with the kind of closeness I’ve experienced all my life among our extended family.  I’ve mentioned before that Daddy is the second born of 5 boys, and is the only one of the 5 still with us  The Brothers were all very close, even though there was 12 years difference between #1 and #5 – exactly.  They shared the same birthday!  The Brothers’ Wives were/are very close, too.  I think they had to be for self preservation!  The Brothers were ringtailed tooters, every one, from the mildest in my Daddy to the greatest “tooter” of them all, my Uncle Ken.


My Aunt Blanche went home to be with the Lord at around 7:00 this evening.  Aunt Blanche is the wife of my Dad’s #4 brother, Thomas.  Now she is the first of the wives to leave us.  Aunt Blanche (also known as Blanchie Mae) was also Tonja’s mother.  She was an unbelievably amazing lady, too.


She was hostess extraordinaire!  From my earliest memory, Allen’s gathered at Uncle Tom and Aunt Blanche’s house.  And if scads (we have a really big family) of Allen’s weren’t enough, there were always quite a few non-Allen’s in the mix!  I never, and I mean NEVER, saw my Aunt Blanche flustered from all of her duties.  She was amazing: loving, sweet natured, organized, and the best cook ever, aside from my own Mama!  It has often been pondered what our family would do when we lost our Aunt Blanche – there really isn’t anyone just like her.  (We are fully blessed: her daughter-in-law, Jan, is amazingly close!)

This seems like a really downer post, and while we have experienced much grief in our family we do not grieve as do the rest [of the world] who have no hope.  (1 Thessalonians 4:13)  Each of our loved ones who have left us this year professed Christ as their Savior, so we have that great hope of seeing them again one day!  I am thankful the Lord doesn’t tell us not to grieve, but only to not  grieve without hope, because I am really sad to lose my Aunt Blanche tonight.  She was a special, special lady, and the world (at least my world) has a big empty spot in it.

God bless your day!




About Petty Bunch

The Petty Bunch is what we have called our family since Bill and I (Janina) began our family back in the early 1980s. We have gone down many roads together - homeschooling our kiddoes, enjoying the freedom of entrepreneurship many years, working at "real jobs" other years. Through it all, we have been loved with God's everlasting love, and have found that underneath are His everlasting arms! We are blessed to have been married for over 36 years, and have 3 incredible adult children, a wonderful daughter-in-law, an amazing son-in-law, and SEVEN grandchildren: four precious granddaughters, three handsome grandsons - so far. We are empty nesters, still enjoy the life of an entrepreneur and the freedom it gives us to continue enjoying our kids and now, their kids!
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12 Responses to Great Loss

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss, friend.  I used to think that when we lost older relatives that it wouldn’t be so hard (i.e. they were old, they had a good life, etc, etc,) but I’ve come to realize that the older they are, the more we miss them sometimes.  I think it is because of the big, big spots they filled for so long — that integral part of our lives that they touched for so many years.  And even when they’ve been sick, and even when Alzheimer’s has taken a toll, we miss WHO they were when they were healthy, and after they are gone, we somehow don’t remember the days “just before” but rather the person they were when they were healthy and active and THERE.  It sounds like it has been a difficult year for you, and I know what that is like — (my September 11, 2009 post talks about that!) but the presence of the LORD truly does make a difference, and I rejoice to know that you know HIM.

  2. I am so sorry to hear of this loss in your family – praying that God will provide His comfort and peace to all of you.

  3. Bumblypick says:

    You HAVE had a year!!  Sometimes grief just keeps coming and saddness won’t unlatch off of us.  It’s a hard season for you my sister and I pray that you find the hem of His garment in the midst of deep saddness and sorrow.  I pray that you find Him in ways you never would have otherwise and that your roots in Him go down deeper now to find the water for comfort and growth you need now.  As you lean into His loving arms, may you see sides of Him you have never seen and may you come forth out of this season of sorrow more equipped to help another in their time of great sorrow and grief……..Bless You!!

  4. we’re grieving with you, Mama. much love. ((hug))

  5. Mottsngbury says:

    What a beautiful post, Nina. I really can’t add any more a/b Aunt Blanche than what all you said. There was ALWAYS room at Aunt Blanche & Uncle Tom’s if one needed a place to stay. And besides the loss you mentioned on “my” side of the family, Bob lost his mother & his brother’s wife (who was MY age) w/in a few weeks of one another this summer.  It’s been a really bad, sad year. I love you all so much……let me know how Daddy & your mom are handling this.

  6. Hinase says:

    It’s been a bad year myself..I lost someone that I considered a father early in this and a grandmother back last summer. So I understand that kind of pain. I do hope it gets better and it usually does..time does make it better…I assure you =) God bless you ..and stay strong.

  7. ABAHM says:

    I so know what you are feeling and my thoughts and prayers are with you!   

  8. pettybunch says:

    @Mottsngbury – Daddy is really struggling – vascillating between unbelief that it is real and grief at the loss of his “sister”.  Mama hasn’t quite grasped it all.  She definitely understands that Aunt Blanche died, and knows who she is, but the personal aspect doesn’t seem to be there.  Dannye is going to stay with Mama so all three of us kids and Daddy will be able to go to the funeral on Monday.  Jeanne and I are so blessed to actually get to go together!!  Bill is planning to go, as well, but is on call at work so we can’t be certain of him. 

  9. Bettyeboop says:

    Don’t know what I would have done the two years I lived in Fairfield if it had not been for my Auntie Sis and Aunt Blanch. They were always there if I needed them. Aunt Blanch would take me out to the garden and pick some corn for me to take home or some green beans. We sang in the choir together and the boys would sit with either Auntie Sis or Uncle Tom He was second choice. Ha He was a pincher like Mammah. I envied how organized Aunt Blanch was. She worked full time for years and her two story house was always immaculate.. She would put a roast in the oven before church, even mix up her cornbread. When she came home she added a little more milk to the cornbread while she heated the skillet, got it baking in the oven. Then she would go change out of her church clothes and set the table and dinner was ready. And no one without Allen blood ever loved them more than she did. She said Mammah was the only mother she ever knew. Her own had died when she was young. I loved Aunt Blanch so much and reunions will never be the same.

  10. Mottsngbury says:

    I’ll be glad to see all 3 of my sisters Monday at this sad occasion.  I wish Greta was able to be there also.  And yes, the reunions “were” Aunt Blanche…….she was loved by all!

  11. Godfather56 says:

    I am sorry to hear of the losses you have had in your family

  12. AuntGen says:

    Well, I wish I’d seen this before the funeral today.  It was a precious service, and precious time with the family.  I love how blessed and almost surprised people are at the love our family has for each other.   I also enjoyed hearing testamony about Aunt Blanch’s relationship with her pastor and her church.  It was a sad, but sweet day, and I’m thankful to have been able to spend it with you.  Love you!

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