Friday, July 16, 2021

A Tribute to My Aunt

My Aunt J had breast cancer back in 1996. They gave her radiation treatments, and that put her into remission -- for 24 years. Last September, she told me that they had found another spot on her mammogram. They were going to do surgery to remove the spot and possibly do chemotherapy after that. It seemed like it would all be okay. But it wasn't. 

Scans showed that she had cancer in her lungs and ribs at that time. So, they cancelled the surgery and started chemotherapy. She was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. I knew this wasn't good, but I had hoped that they could contain the cancer and prolong her life. 

I won't go into all the nitty gritty details here, but as the months progressed, the cancer spread like wildfire, and none of the chemo treatments they tried (they tried three different kinds!) did anything to slow it down or stop the spread. 

Sadly, my aunt lost her life to the cancer yesterday morning at 7:32am. The end sounded just horrid. I am so sad she is gone, but I m happy she is not in so much pain or suffering anymore. She was only 76. She was taken too soon, in my opinion, but God must have needed her for something. 

My aunt did not want anyone to make a fuss over her death. I am writing this tribute in an effort to give myself some closure and to honor her memory. I hope that she understands that this is my way of saying good-bye. 


Aunt Jinny
My aunt and my sister at my sister's wedding.
*Photo used with permission. 

My earliest memory of my Aunt J is when my parents were still married (they got divorced when I was 7)! We were having some type of get-together at our house. I was sitting on my Aunt J's lap, and we were eating those little rectangular crackers together (not Saltines, they were a lot smaller than that). We each took a bite of the cracker at the same time. Well, when we had two bites left, I ended up popping the rest of my cracker into my mouth, and my Aunt J just laughed and laughed because she expected me to have two bites left! 

Growing up, my dad, my sister, and I would always go visit Aunt J around Christmas time (among other times of the year, of course). She always had the most beautiful white Christmas tree in her living room. I have loved white Christmas trees since. 

My Aunt J always had the most beautiful home. The last time I saw it, her living room had a lot of pink in it. Her couch had a beautiful pink floral pattern against a dark green background. She had these two chairs and ottomans that were pink in there, too. I know she ended up redecorating, but this is how I'll always remember her living room. Her house was always immaculate! 

Oftentimes, when we'd visit, my aunt's house, my sister and I would go down to the basement where Aunt J had a jukebox and pinball machine and play with those. That would give her and my dad time to chat. 

My sister and I collected Beanie Babies when we were younger. They were all the rage then. We were always trying to find the rare ones. My Aunt J got us each the coveted Princess Diana and Erin bears. I still have mine, and I know my sister does, too. I will never part with them. 

Erin bear

My Aunt J has a nice fireplace in her house. She always kept this ceramic cat by it. When I was young, I used to pretend I was petting the cat. It is one of the things I remember most vividly about her home. 

My aunt seemed to like to bake. She was always making things and giving them to my dad. She'd always tell me she'd made him this or that, and I'd always think, "Wow, lucky Dad! That sounds so delicious!" 

She was a very thoughtful woman. She helped me buy a new computer several years ago when my desktop randomly died. When my iPhone 6s+ was on its way out, she helped me get a new iPhone! I was so blessed that she did that. It saved me from having to make a two-year payment plan. It was so sweet of her, and I often think of her when I use my phone. 

My aunt hosted my high school graduation party for my dad's side of the family. A few years later, she hosted my sister's high school graduation party. Both were fun times, memories I will cherish. 

When Lita was dying, my aunt sent me an email - a sweet writing from a pet's perspective. It was about how thankful the pet was for having a good home and how now that she was going, she wanted her human to give another pet a good home. It made me cry, but it was very sweet. 

Speaking of Aunt J had a dog named Nipsy. Nipsy was a light and dark brown dog. She was a cute little dog, and I remember really liking her. I think I was fairly young when Nipsy died. My aunt seemed to love her, but she never got another dog after that. 

My aunt and I weren't as close as my grandma K and I, but she kept in touch over the years, even when I wasn't the easiest person to get along with in my 20s! I am thankful she never gave up on our relationship. I came to value and treasure our relationship over the years and wanted to do something for her when I found out she had cancer again. How I wish I could have just taken it away from her. She did not deserve to suffer that way. 

Though my aunt was taken too soon, I am thankful that I got to enjoy such a long relationship with her. I am thankful I had the opportunity to know this special and amazing woman. I love her and will miss her. I hope she's reunited with my grandma and grandpa K now, her brother, and her Nipsy. 


  1. I'm very sorry about your aunt. She sounds like a wonderful lady who should have had lots more years ahead of her.

  2. Your aunt sounds like she was a wonderful lady, and you have written a loving tribute of which she would be proud. (((hugs)))

  3. What a lovely memorial to a wonderful aunt. It's too bad she had to endure so much suffering. Dad says his grandparents used to have a big ceramic ginger kitty by their front door that he can remember being there since he was a tot. Our hearts go out to you.

  4. Aunt J sounds like a wonderful Aunt - no doubt she'll be greatly missed. We're sorry for your loss and send our love.

  5. That was such a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to your Aunt J. and we can tell she was a special one. Hugs and love from all of us.

  6. Beautiful memories!! May these keep and sustain you in difficult times ahead as your process through this journey of life!

  7. A beautiful tribute to your Aunt J. I am so sorry, my heart goes out to you and your family.

  8. I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad you have many good memories of her. XO

  9. Thank you for sharing your memories of your valiant aunt.

  10. What a beautiful tribute to your beloved aunt. Bless her. RIP.
    Love from Jan, angel-Milo and Alfie xxx

  11. This is a beautiful tribute to a wonderful human being. You gave her life in your writing of her and we thank you for this glimpse of knowing a very special person. Our prayers of support

  12. I’m so sorry for the loss of your aunt. She sounds like a wonderful person. I hope all the good memories you have of her helps ease your sadness. ~Sue

  13. Your aunt sounds like a special person. We are so sorry for your loss, Sierra. Hugs, purrs and prayers.

  14. I am so sorry to learn about the loss of your beautiful Aunt. How pretty she was and she sounded like she was a particularly doting and loving Aunt. the memories you shared were extra special and obviously meant a lot and enabled us to know her a bit. Thank you for sharing these and I'm so deeply sorry.

  15. Such a nice tribute. We're so sorry about your loss altho TW is now scared that soon her cancer will spread again and will be painful.

  16. So sorry for this difficult loss. You have many w=sweet memories tucked away in your heart.
    ((( ♥ )))

  17. My sincerest sympathies on the loss of your Aunt; she would...she does....truly love this amazing tribute post you've written for her. ♥♥♥♥♥