Mrs. Elise Margaret Aemmer (Shirley)
1 Cor. 13: Love is patient; Love is Kind; It does not envy; It does not boast; It is not proud; It is not rude; It is not Self Seeking; It is not easily angered; It keeps no record of wrongs; Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth; It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres; Love Never Fails.
If you are like me, you've probably heard or read those verses many times and not thought much about it but a while back I was reading this passage and I made a note in my journal that reads "WOW! Does that describe Elise & Fred's love, or what?" I made that note long before I knew that Fred proposed to Elise the first day they met and she said yes that same day. My WOW! With one exclamation point turned into a WOWEE!!! With multiple exclamation points.
Recently I've been helping with a ladies workshop at my church on the way we show our love and how others feel loved by us. The premise is that there are 5 Languages in which we speak love to others. Quality Time, which is one of the languages, happens to be one of my stronger love languages, that is why these past several months when Fred would stay to care for his mom, I insisted we stay there as a family. All three of us would pack our stuff and go down there to stay. The saying that you never know someone until you live with them is true and I thankful for the opportunity we had to spend all that time with her. I was able to gain some insights on Elise's love and I would like to share those with you because I believe she had a lot of things about love figured out.
Gifts is one of the love languages and anyone who knew Elise knows that she loved to give and receive gifts. I believe this is to be one of her primary love languages and why she loved to shop so much. I don't think I ever went shopping with her when she didn't buy something for someone who was not there. She did not do it to gain anything for herself; she simply bought it to make the other person happy because Love is not self seeking.
Another love language is words of affirmation, words to encourage and lift up another person. Several of the great-grandchildren told me that they knew Grandma Aemmer loved them because she always smiled at them, had pet names for them or told them she loved them. She was always was interested in what they were doing whether it was sports, karate, gymnastics, racing or clogging. What a joy it is to have someone you love truly encourage you both verbally and non-verbally because Love rejoices in the truth.
A third love language is Acts of Services and there is no better example of this than the patience and kindness Elise showed for Fred in their later years as she became his caregiver because Love is patient, Love is kind and Love is not easily angered.
If you spent any time with Elise and Fred, you saw them holding hands or Fred giving Elise's knee a pat. Physical Touch is another of the love languages and Fred Sr. definitely expressed his love in a physical way. Although I don't think this was one of Elise's stronger love languages, you never saw her push his hand away. She was always there with an open hand to receive his protection, to show her trust, and to share her hope because Love always protects, always trusts and always hopes.
The final love language is quality time and I believe this to be another of Elise's primary love languages. I asked Victor the other day how he knew that Grandma loved him and he said "because she wanted to spend time with me" and that was true. Whenever we would stop by to visit or go over to stay with her if she didn't see Victor the first thing she would ask was "Where's Victor?" But it wasn't just him, she loved to spend time with everyone. No matter who stopped by to visit, she never failed to stop what she was doing to give them her undivided attention because Love is not rude.
If you ever had the opportunity to visit one-on-one with Elise or eat a meal Elise cooked for you or perhaps you received a gift, a hug or an encouraging word from her, then you received the greatest gift she could possibly give you... Her love. Elise's legacy for us is one of love. We all can learn from Elise to show love to one another in every form because Love always perseveres.
As we mourn the loss of such a loving person, we can allow God's love to consume us from the inside out to bring us comfort because God's Love Never Fails.
TO MY MOTHER,
We will miss you dearly. Watch over us and keep a place next to you for the Fred Aemmer tribe. We will keep you in our hearts forever and will strive to be as much like you as possible. Loving, caring, devoted to our spouse, remembering those who have gone before us fondly, celebrating the holidays with our children & grandchildren as you always did. You made our lives precious, fun-filled and loved us unconditionally. Look down on us and smile.