Tribute to Aunt Sandy!

January 21, 2024

Tribute to Aunt Sandy!  horse heavenly reyna first birthday pony

To be successful is to be helpful, caring, and constructive, to make everything and everyone you touch a little bit better.” — Norman Vincent Peale

“The simple act of caring is heroic.” — Edward Albert

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.”
— Og Mandino

These quotes remind me of my aunt Sandy who was one of my heroes! Shocking to me, she passed away suddenly this week & was one of the sweetest, most giving people on the planet. Devastating news to me and all who loved her. She was a loving mom ( much of it as single mom), grandma and nurse, with a wonderful laugh and sense of humor. She always cared so deeply about others and family, forever helping in endless ways. 🙏Please send your love, Light and prayers to my aunt Sandy, her daughters Lisa & Dana, her grandchildren and all who loved her!! 💜🙏✨ Sandy is likely about 12 or 13 in this photo below, but even there you can see the kindness and compassion.

Tribute to Aunt Sandy!  kindness caring nurse traveler mother grandmother teen lost mom at 7

Sandy's mother died suddenly at 46 when Sandy was only 7 and her new step mom then died suddenly in a car crash when she was 12, then raised by her dad. So I was always deeply touched and impressed on how well she handled that unimaginable fate. She was more like a wise, kind older sister to me & only a few years older. She was the youngest of 7 kids, my mom was the oldest, and since I was the oldest granddaughter, and we lived a block apart for my first 9 years, we were very close from an early age. Always the nurturing one above all else, you see her in this random photo above and she is  helping my daughter Heavenly at her one year birthday big celebration at our home in Santa Cruz. Many in our extended family live long lives, ( like my mom into her mid nineties or my 2 great grandparents from that side), so that adds to the shock. This photo at my mom's house shows  6 of the 7 siblings, and all but one in this photo are gone now. They came out one at a time from Michigan with support from my uncle Keith who was an engineer at Lockheed. This is the California gang and my beloved uncle Ronnie was a dentist and dental professor at University of Michigan, so is still in Michigan. I was blessed to grow up with such loving aunts and uncles! Each one unique and special.

Shaffer copy

Sandy's mother and my grandmother was such a powerful loving force that I remember her deep loving even though I was only 2 1/2 when she died & her passing deeply affected all of us. As I have written before, the last thing she said before being wisked to the hospital on that fateful early morning was " Oh no, I didn't get to say good bye to my babies". ( She had a 7 year old and 12 year old at home .....who later become nurses, as I also did and several of my other aunts). As we travel, most of my photos are in storage ,but I have a few to share as I made a few digital copies from scrap books from long ago. It is interesting how family trauma and karma is past on, but can make you stronger and more compassionate. I grew up with 4 great grandparents and enjoyed learning about the family lore. My grandmother's mother lived nearby with my great aunt in that same small town ( there were 12 kids in that family). My grandmother's father was buried alive in a quarry accident nearby where he worked and his son ( my great uncle Tim) lost all of his hair that day from the trauma, as he was working there too so witnessed it. 

Family reunion 98
Yet despite the trauma or karma, my extended family has survived, I am so proud about what a loving bunch I come from. Sandy had a deep relationship with all her siblings and all my cousins. Sandy and my aunt Mel, were always joyfully serving others. Like they helped for months when my uncle had a stroke, and Sandy was there when my mom most needed her when my step dad died at home. Many are gone now from this family reunion photo from 1998 at my uncle's house in San Jose. But the loving and loving legacy continues. 

Travel means goodbyes as well as new hellos. It was hard to say good bye to my mom not too long ago and also my dad some years before. As we traveled in Asia, we lost my Step Dad and my husband's Father died suddenly when we were in Spain. We are in Africa now as Sandy passes. Gratefully, the best of her and all my loved ones lives permanently inside of me and never leaves. The hard part of this stage of life is so many wonderful people leave. 

You don't choose your family; they are God's gift to you, as you are to them. - Desmond Tutu

You can kiss your family and friends good bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you. - Frederick Buechner

God bless my beloved aunt Sandy on her journey home. Thank you soooo much for all you gave to me and every one you know. Thank you for being such a great example of loving and giving and pure heart. I am grateful that you are in God's arms again and also your mothers, fathers and all your siblings on the other side. Thanks for sharing your girls with me when they were young and the fun we had together. You taught me so much about being the "fun auntie"! May God's love comfort them as they walk through this.


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Sending my love and adding my prayers.

jeanne dee

Aw, thank you soooo much Lucretia! You are really too kind. I so appreciate your love and prayers for Sandy and her family.

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