Aunt Brenny and her favorite quote.

My Aunt Brenda, aka “Aunt Brenny” (as I affectionately call her), was so special to me. Her laugh was genuine and unlike any other laugh I have ever heard. She was one of my “cool” aunts. The one who would do my hair and make-up for homecoming dances, liked to listen to the latest music and was always fashionable. She is my mom’s younger sister, so naturally she would be cooler 😉 , right?!

Younger than my mom… I think that was part of the reason why I found it so hard to believe she was so sick. She was too young to die from cancer. She had so much going for her, so much more to accomplish and see in life. It didn’t seem real that this terrible disease would have the right to take her so soon.

I had the honor of staying with aunt Brenda for about a week. Time I absolutely treasure now. During that time she never complained to me. When she was in pain she would say, “I will be ok. This is just how it is for me right now” and more often than not she would give me the best smile she could. She always tried to comfort ME. That is the reason Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future” made me think of her then and even more so now.

Aunt Brenda would smile when anyone entered the room. It didn’t matter if she was  wide awake or if she was almost asleep, as soon as she saw you entering the room she gave you a big smile. Always welcoming company.

I watched her, thinking how I wished so badly I could do something for her. I wanted something to give her some form of relief, if even for a short while. She looked exhausted from the pain and it just didn’t seem fair.

One night, I wasn’t able to keep my emotions together. It was so difficult to watch someone I love go through something so painful and not be able to do anything for her. Often in times like this, I journal. I have found it helps me get my emotions out when it is the hardest. This was one of those times. I want to share with you a part of my journal entry for that night.

Journal Entry:  3/272015

It is midnight and Aunt Brenda is in a lot of pain. She isn’t able to get comfortable enough to fall asleep. Throughout the day I have said prayers for her. Praying for something to help her knowing how awful the pain is at night. This night, my heart is absolutely broken for her. I don’t want to leave her side, but hate seeing her in pain. I am constantly praying for her to just find comfort enough to fall able to sleep. I pray while siting with her. When I step out of her room to get her something or if I hear her raising or lowering her bed, I would pray.

 I said to God, ‘Heavenly Father, You are the creator of all life, You work unimaginable miracles, You are good, always loving and all knowing. Surly You can see that aunt Brenda needs to be out of pain enough to rest. Please God, help her.’ 

Later that night I watched as mom sat on the floor next to aunt Brenda’s hospital bed. Mom would gently rub her leg with one hand as aunt Brenda reached out just to touch her other arm. With all her pain she started to look comfortable, relaxed and relieved. She started to close her eyes and fall off to sleep. It was at the moment I realized that God was answering my prayer through my mom and I was so thankful for that and that I was able to see it.

It was in that moment that I realized, God was opening my eyes.

I noticed that with all the big smiles she gives there was one person that could put an even bigger smile on her pretty face, her son, Regis. He was the light of her life. She had a little extra pep when he was around or even if she knew he was coming over. She would even fight her closing her heavy sleepy eyes just so she could get as much time in with him as possible. I remember telling him that he was without a doubt her sunshine. Her grandson Rocco or “pumpkin” as she called him, could do the same. That big beautiful smile would shine even when we talked about him. There was one other person that would get a special reaction from my aunt and that is my mom. Mom would walk into her room and this noticeable blanket of comfort would cover aunt Brenda. When mom was there it didn’t matter what pain she had or how bad the day was mom just being there would be enough.

What an amazing realization, God WAS answering my prayers. He was just doing it in a different way. I wanted Him to just take the pain away and He allowed comfort to come to her through Mom, Regis and her “Pumpkin.” I think I cried a million tears when I realized this and each moment I noticed between them grew more and more special in my eyes. Cherished and treasured moments I get to keep and remember when I miss her and I miss her a lot.

Aunt Brenda would have been 56 years young today. I think of her everyday. My kiddos mention her often. We always talk about what she is doing in heaven and we know whatever she is up to she is with Mac, Grandma and Papaw. I had the chance to talk to Aunt Brenny about heaven and I asked her if she would give my little boy a big hug and kiss from his mommy. She smiled and said, “I sure will.”

Faith can accomplish amazing things.

Happy Birthday, Aunt Brenny! Thinking of you today and everyday. We love you.
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Please click the arrows to the right or left in the slider below to view some of my favorite pictures of Aunt Brenda. You can clearly see the love and strength in her genuine smile. Thank you for allowing me to share these with you!