This past week, My Aunt Nitaleen passed from this life to
the next and the best. She was my mother’s only sister and they were
very close. For years, she’s battled health issues and has been lovingly cared
for by her family and especially, my Mom.
What a void she has left for her and for many. My mind can’t comprehend losing my sisters, my
best friends, and my “go-to people” - my heart pounds just writing such a thought.
Loss is painful but God’s grace is God’s strength. Yet, there is joy when I
think of my Aunt.
My Aunt was who she
was and that was my favorite thing about her. She was genuine and it was
certainly refreshing since there was never a question what you might get when
you saw her…you always knew. She was fun, funny, light-hearted and very loving.
At family events, she could throw an
honest jab our way and all we could do was laugh. In all the years I knew her; I never remember
seeing her in a bad mood. What a
As the Apostle Paul said, in 2 Corinthians 3:2, “Ye are our
epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men.” Our lives are an open book and are read by
those whom we encounter. What are we allowing others to read? What will be our
For my Aunt, her story was one of victory amidst the most
tragic of circumstances. She and her siblings lost their parents at very young ages.
My mother and her brother went from
foster homes to an orphanage. My Aunt was basically on her own along with her
three older brothers. As a result, she certainly had an opportunity to be
bitter and resentful of the life that was handed to her. Instead, she rose
above those ashes and allowed her inner beauty to shine…and shine she did!
My mother ended her memorial service with a tribute to her
life and their relationship. She told a story of how they’d discussed that
their mother was awaiting their arrival in Heaven. My mom described her glorious
mansion with many rooms and my Aunt, with her quick wit and comebacks declared,
“I get the big room!” My mom, as her
little sister, could have only one reply, “Okay by me…as long as they have
So as I think of my Aunt, all I can do is smile really. I
think of her finally reunited with her mother in the paradise of Heaven that
the rest of us long for. Heaven gives us hope. Because of that, I think of her
in that mansion and I know I never have to doubt where she is…she is in the big