30 Day Lady Challenge- Day 7

by - Saturday, March 23, 2013

Day 7- Someone who always expresses themselves in a beautiful way. My Aunt Tunde

I met my Aunt Tunde when I was still a little kid. My Uncle Mark met her on a trip to Romania, and they got married soon after.  I think she was one of the first people I ever knew who didn't speak English as their first language. She moved from Romania, only seeing her parents every few years, but she fit right into our family and brought a new sense of joy and love to our gatherings.

Now, 17 years (!!!) later, Aunt Tunde continues to have an amazing light about her, that shines out of her every word, gesture, and smile. Her English is absolutely on point (and she speaks 6 other languages, which blows my mind), but she isn't caught up in certain Americanized stuffiness or reserve. What makes her so amazingly beautiful is that her emotions flow out of her at all times, and she never censors herself. She says exactly what she thinks. This is so sweet, because she is such a loving person. 

This is a picture of her crying for joy that my Mom got her one of those things you use to keep food warm. I think this perfectly illustrates her complete openess. First, you can tell she knows what she got, then you can see she is still happy and surprised, then she is so happy she cries! How can you not love this woman?? She has a beautiful smile and I love how expressive her face is.

This picture of her from last year may be one of my absolute favorites of all time, because it captures her so well. We have all watched her experience something totally new for the first time (during our wedding festivities she bowled for the first time), and she is such a blessing to see because she does it with unbridled joy and no fear of looking silly. In fact, I think she embraces her silliness, and she has this big amazing laugh that might be the perfect summation of all of her beautiful qualities. Also, somewhat unrelated, but she has great curly hair, beautiful skin, and looks beautiful in the color red.

When I lived abroad, I had a lot of trouble being open, and I was always nervous I would make a fool out of myself because my German wasn't good enough. Aunt Tunde has always been well-aware she might be making a mistake, but she has the incredible courage to keep putting herself out there and to never letting her fear show. Being as loving and hilarious as she is would be plenty of beauty on its own, but Tunde's courage to constantly be vulnerable is what makes her absolutely gorgeous. 

Lastly, Tunde is very aware of the importance of physical and tactile expression, and always has hugs for everyone. When she hugs you, she means it. When I asked the Boy what to say about AUnt Tunde, without missing a beat he said "She has a great laugh, and she gives good hugs." She is extremely loving (while still being super honest) to her three great kids, and she is an awesome person to have as an aunt (even if her branch of the family is always late to everything). So here is to you, Tunde, for always speaking the truth (even when it is awkward), for filling Nana's kitchen with your laughter, and for showing us all such amazing courage, humor, and beauty as a part of our family. You are so beautiful!

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