My aunt Aida passed away yesterday morning. She had been battling illness and was eighty-five years old.
It’s never easy losing a loved one, even when their passing is expected. Even when there’s a sense of calm because you know they are no longer in pain or discomfort. Even when you know with confidence they are in the presence of God, it’s not easy.
I will always remember my aunt for her spirit of support and encouragement. As the oldest of my grandparent’s (on my mom’s side) five children, she was the standard bearer. Her leadership was palpable, and it reflected in both how she raised my cousins and how she interacted with my brother and me.
Like my mom, my Aunt Aida was not one to take shortcuts or consider half-assed efforts as acceptable. She pushed me – all of the cousins, really – to strive for bigger and better all the time. At times she was hard and perhaps too rigid, but I know it was born out of love and a sincere desire to see us all achieve our potential. Her personality embodied the characteristics of both my grandparents, but at the same time she was one of a kind.
We’ll be celebrating her life and laying her to rest the first week April. In lieu of flowers, my aunt requested donations be made to Samantha’s Purpose on behalf of her grandnephew Christian Perez, a young man whom she loved dearly.