When Matt was a boy, he would go to visit his dad for the summer. Rod was a NM State Policeman so he had to work while the boys were with him.
Matt's summers in Northern New Mexico with his big brother gave way to some days with nothing to do. On those days they might have caused a bit of trouble. They might have knocked a hole or two in the wall while wrestling. But what else are two young boys to do but find trouble?
Thankfully they were blessed with an angel. This was an angel with curly, dyed, dark-black hair, an angel who could talk a mile a minute, an angel who liked Arby's sandwiches and ice cream cones, an angel they called Aunt Mary G.
Mary Goetz was cousin to some friends who lived nearby. She came from Yuba City, California every year to visit her New Mexico friends and family.
When she met Rod and his sweet little boys, she immediately adopted them as her own. I don't know if she felt sorry for the boys or if she just needed company on her adventures. Whatever the case, they belonged to her.
When Rod had to work, she would pick up Matt and Galen and drive them all over the place. They went to see the local sites and Native ruins. They would stop to take pictures or just explore an old building on the side of the road. Two little boys have never been so lucky.
Matt tells a story about Mary G wanting to climb a hill near their house. Now they boys climbed that hill all of the time. But Aunt Mary? She was close to 70 years old! Aunt Mary insisted. So they climbed to the top. She made it! Then she got a wild hair.
"I wonder if I could run all the way down."
Matt and Galen did everything they could to convince her not to try. She insisted, again. She took off slowly. But as she got further down the hill, her little legs just got faster and faster. Finally her legs couldn't keep up and she flopped forward into a barbed-wire fence.
She was okay and laughing all the way. It scared the boys to death. But in the end, they did what they always did with Aunt Mary, they laughed with her.
She was always like that. She saw the best in everything. I remember talking to her about a stomach bug she was getting over. I told her how sorry I was that she was sick. She said, "Oh you know I don't like to pass anything up." What a lady!
Aunt Mary G never had any children of her own but she counted all of us as her babies. She could always make us laugh and always make us feel special.
We were so sad when we learned that this year, at 91, she had passed away. Such fondness we hold for her in our hearts. She was a precious person.
It surprised us to learn that she had left Rod's kids a bit of money when she passed. It was such a sweet thing for her to do. She didn't have to do it. But it was such a blessing to us. It allowed us to get a few things for our new homestead.
It also allowed us to plant a small orchard that we lovingly call Aunt Mary's orchard.
I know she is with Jesus clapping her hands with joy. Thank you Aunt Mary G for loving us! We hope you felt the love we all had for you.