Some people are put in this world to give. Some people are here to inspire, to change lives. Be great mothers, aunts, sisters. Some are even able to lead successful lives for themselves. Even fewer though are able to do it all, and to do it with grace, love, and compassion.

Recently during a conversation, I tried to recall a time Aunty needed something of me. I tried to think of a moment where I’ve heard about something she’d requested, but instead it’s overwhelmingly evident that Aunty only gave. A story I do remember is when in high school I was struggling in Chemistry. In fact I was all but failing the class. My mom’s first instinct was to send me to Aunty’s house for help. After all, she was a pharmacist. Thus this 17 year old kid reluctantly dragged himself on over to her house. Long story short, over the next week she helped me to prepare for the next test I absolutely needed to pass, and I did. However, the funny part is that the things I was learning, were either soooo far below her expertise, or slightly different than what she knew, so these were less of tutor sessions and more of “let’s learn this together” sessions. Truly, I absolutely despise chemistry, especially when it’s after school at 6pm, but at that moment I failed to think of the sacrifice she was making for me. There was no incentive, there was no glory, but I remember how excited she was to ask me if I passed, and when I did she too felt like she won. Whether it be the study sessions, Saturday nights bringing food over to the house, picking me up from aftercare when my parents could not, random devotionals sent to my instagram, or a real and true “how are you”, with aunty, it was always a together thing.
I was lucky enough to see her before she passed away. I saw first hand what it meant to fight. More so, what it meant to fight for something greater than yourself. I saw her will herself into comfortable positions when it’d be easier to lay still. I saw her sing songs of joy in a room otherwise deprived. I felt the energy she filled the room with when I stumbled in, weary and afraid. There was a women who knew not only who she was fighting for, but who she was fighting with. She told me she loved me 4 times as I left the room. 4 priceless breaths, again given to me. She always gave all she had. God and family was and is always the common denominator in people who change the lives of others. There was no deviation from that with Aunty, in the highest moments of her life, all the way to the valleys, where again we walked together, as family.

Joseph Wete