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Purple Sky

Purple Sky
Amber and Aunt Sybol
Purple Sky
Amber and Aunt Sybol

Go back with me in time to last Friday, May 10. In the middle of the afternoon that day, I decided to listen to music in my office. I played favorites from one of my playlists and heard a song I hadn’t heard in a while — “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry — and I sang along.

“Lord, make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother, She’ll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors…” I’ve always loved those lines, and on Friday, I sang those lyrics over and over again in my head thinking about them — how lovely it would be to be a rainbow shining down upon my loved ones in the afterlife.

As I prepared our dinner, I kept thinking about those lines. My husband and I ran a late night errand, and all the while, I hummed that song in my head.

That night around 10:45 p.m., my sister, Audrey, texted me, “Go outside and look north! You can see the aurora! Go now!” So my husband and I rushed outside and witnessed quite a spectacle. We walked to the top of a hill near our house and looked up at the spectacular sky. A solar storm on the sun had caused the aurora borealis phenomenon (also known as the Northern Lights) to be visible in the sky across Georgia last week, and the low humidity and clear skies that night gave us a glorious gift. We captured the kaleidoscope of colors with our iPhones, standing out there for almost an hour marveling at the colors changing by the minute.

Most of my photos featured purple, pink, and magenta. Green being my favorite color, I wanted to see a green haze in the sky, but the universe wouldn’t cooperate. It just kept serving me purple and magenta. No green. I was frustrated.

“Don’t be frustrated,” my husband said, fussing at me. “Look how beautiful the sky is. Be thankful for this.”

He was right. With a dozen or so photos on our phones — all purple and magenta — we finally went inside and went to bed.

I couldn’t sleep that night. I finally got up around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. My phone rang at 7 a.m., and I listened to my cousin, Martha Ann Farrow, tell me that my beloved Aunt Sybol had passed away. At 100, she had died around 11:30 p.m. the night before. I got off the phone and sat silent in my office, and that’s when I realized that while my aunt was crossing over to the great beyond, my husband, my sister, and I were continued from page

all outside marveling at a beautiful sky — a beautiful purple sky.

Aunt Sybol’s favorite color was purple. I wanted to see green, but the universe kept showing me purple.

And then I remembered the lyrics I kept singing the day before, and I knew.

Aunt Sybol had made herself an aurora, and we were all standing under her color — her favorite color — purple. She went out in a purple blaze of glory.

We celebrated her life and buried her at Rosemary Primitive Baptist Church cemetery outside of Metter last Monday as the sky cried and rain drizzled over us all. And that was that.

But I keep thinking about that aurora — that bright, beautiful purple sky — and I know she is home.

From the PorchBy Amber Nagle

Northern Lights in North Georgia

Recent Death Notices