My Aunt Jackie went to be with Jesus and all my angels Monday afternoon after a 13-year battle with Ovarian Cancer. She’s my angel now, too. She is my aunt by love and choice not blood. She has been my Aunt Jackie as long as I can remember. Mama and she taught their daughters the beauty and blessings of lifelong female friendship that becomes family. We will carry on the tradition in her honor in the future.
The last time mama and I saw Aunt Jackie and my chosen sister (Aunt Jackie’s daughter) the four of us had long overdue catchup when we met for lunch. We all just picked up from the last time we saw each other. Aunt Jackie told my chosen sister and I “I always want you girls to be close. Please.” Sharing a grin with my oldest friend who became my chosen sister I answer for both of us that she does not need to worry about that. Satisfied both generations go back to their separate conversations. What Aunt Jackie did not know is my chosen sister and I have always kept in contact in between actual hang out sessions. First it was by instant message, then text message.
As we settled in for more conversation, laughter, and comfort food we shared a look across the table that said if they only knew. In other words, we have kept the secrets of teenage angst, all the way to the way up until the women we are at that moment. For those wondering we still do and always will keep each other’s confidence. Aunt Jackie believes I can do anything. When I made the decision to start this blog changing my life and work, my chosen sister told her mama.
One day shortly after I started blogging my phone lit up with a text message. It was from Aunt Jackie. She told me she was proud and that my fear was unfounded. She told me to keep telling my story and she loved me. The ultimate cancer warrior, in my life, was telling me to be brave. I responded, “Yes, ma’am. I love you, too.” I will always keep that promise. Please pray for the comfort of all who knew and without doubt loved my Aunt Jackie. Most especially her husband of 38 years, my chosen sister, and my chosen niece and nephews. I’ll love you, forever Aunt Jackie, and I’ll see you again. Stay close, please.
Love, love, love, Stace