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Auntie Baby

My father’s sister, who I call Auntie Baby, passed away last week Wednesday. She died very peacefully in her home, surrounded by her family who had gathered to say goodbye. My father told me he saw his sister take her last breath.
Auntie Baby was 62, and was sick a long time with diabetes. She was blind and both her legs had been amputated. She was in constant pain, and in the many months leading up to her death she cried and pleaded for help in the way a small child who couldn’t understand why there was so much pain would. It is memories like those that make me feel sort of relieved that she’s gone. Her pain has ended.
Traditionally, there are nine days of rosary (twice a day) leading up to the burial, then nine days of rosary after the burial. Every time I go through the motions of attending a family rosary, I think to myself, it’s a shame it takes a death in the family for me to see my family regularly.
My favorite memories of my aunt are of her cooking in her outside kitchen. For many years she prepared and served food at the homeless shelter in Hagatna. She was a woman of great faith in God; as a techa, she led and prayed thousands of rosaries for others. She also loved to hear her family sing.
The other night during the rosary, Addison leans over and says to me, “Do you know what my favorite memory of Auntie Baby is? It’s that time when I kissed her cheek, and she asked, ‘Hayi este? (Who is this?)’ When she heard my voice she laughed and said, ‘Oh, it’s Addi–the white boy!’ ”

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