On February 7, 2013, my great aunt, Addie, went to heaven. She was days away from her 86th birthday.

She had found out about a month earlier that she had stage 4 cancer all over her body, and surgery really wasn’t an option for her. She was one of the last three living siblingsĀ from my Mema’s family, and that entire side of my family has always been exceptionally close-knit.

We had the opportunity to go see Aunt Addie about a week before she died, and that time spent in Tennessee will forever be one of my most memorable days. We went down on a Tuesday and got to see her just a little bit that evening, but we went to see her again the following morning and were able to spend more time with her then.

When the time came for us to leave for home, as we walked up to her bedside to say goodbye and give her one last hug, she pulled us close and held on pretty tightly for her frail arms. And then she prayed.

She prayed for each of us individually, one by one. By name. For both of my parents. For both of my brothers. For my sister, who couldn’t even make it due to being at school in California. For me. She prayed for all 6 of us in turn. For God’s blessings and protection and for what He is doing in our lives. She spent a good long while simply in prayer.

I am pretty sure no eyes were dry as we left her room.

Here she was, dying, and she was spending her time praying for others. Loving them. Being her humble and generous self.

That’s what she always did. She and her husband, my great uncle, Dwain. They were forever traveling, not for vacations, but because they wanted to take care of someone who was sick. I don’t even know howm many times they came up to help take care of my Mema. Aunt Addie always was cooking something good. It didn’t matter if everyone had just eaten, she was always convinced you were hungry and needed her to make you some food.

They spent their lives giving and doing whatever they could for others.

The night before Aunt Addie died, she spent her time the same way. She was singing and praying with and for family.

She’s left such a beautiful legacy behind. So amazing. So godly. So selfless.

I want to leave a legacy like hers. I wish I could be half of who she lived her life being.