Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I want to take this time to say goodbye to my beautiful great Aunt Clara who lost her battle with a brain tumor on May 8, 2009 at 11:01 PM.

Also called a glioblastoma multiforme, my Aunt Clara was diagnosed with this type of fast growing; the most malignant form of a brain tumor in the summer of 2008. Late summer of that same year she had her first surgery which was done with much apprehension from the medical crew, but everyone was hoping for a success story. After the surgery, my Aunt Clara had chemo, and she was able to enjoy life for a while.

By Thanksgiving of last year it came back. The doctors opted for more chemo therapy and juggled with more surgery on her tumor invading her brain. My Aunt Clara then had another surgery and this one left her weaker than before she was operated on. But that wouldn’t stop her from hosting Christmas that year at her house, even though it was done while she sat on the couch in the living room the whole time. She was always a gracious host.

By January the tumor began to metastasize on to her central nervous system, and the doctors ultimately thought it was beyond their control to try another surgery. Her body couldn’t handle another one and she gave up on the chemotherapy as it made her too sick.

The last week of March was the last time that she would go to the hospital and leave with any good news. Soon after she was placed in Hospice and we all waited. Soon my Aunt Clara couldn’t sit up any more because the cancer began to invade her spinal cord and she was steadily losing muscle tone.

The next week she couldn’t speak as her vocal cords were ravaged by the cancer. She would still respond to verbal communication when you spoke to her by nodding her head and keeping eye contact.

Soon after she began to lose her eyesight as the cancer infiltrated her blood vessels in her eyes and they became bloodshot red. She still would reach out to you if you spoke to her. This Friday she lost her battle with her enemy who wanted to take her from her family, friends and loved ones. My Aunt Clara is survived by a son, my cousin Kevin, a daughter-in-law Vida, and two grandchildren Raynard and Zarah. She also left behind her six sisters, one of whom happen to be my grandmother, who stood by her side and made sure that her ‘little’ sister was always comfortable. My Aunt Clara was 71 years young.

Of course I can not forget her love of her life, her husband, my Uncle Charles who stood by my aunt for more than 50 years. They also retired together traveling to China, Europe, Italy, numerous trips to Disneyland with the grand kids, and countless trips to VA, whenever I had a wee little one. She was the most generous woman in our family always organizing family reunions, birthday parties, holiday get-togethers, and just plain picnics whenever one of us wanted to get together, especially if we came from out of town visiting one another.

My mother said that my Aunt Clara had a ‘long arm’ which is a Persian saying meaning someone who is very generous. And that she was. Sharing her boisterous laugh, advice and love I will miss my Aunt Clara greatly. She was always a comfort to me whenever life got me down especially whenever I was going through many prepubescent and teenage trials and tribulations. With a great big smile on her face and not a seemingly fake bone in her body, I was always glad to see my Aunt Clara at family functions or reunions.

Her funeral will be held this Friday at 12 PM in Westchester County, New York. Surrounded by loved ones, friends and family I am hoping that she will feel the love that we will bestow upon her that day as we celebrate not her death, but the life that she led and left behind for us all to remember.

Farewell my sweet sweet aunt. You will be surely missed.

May you rest in peace!


Mrs.GB said...

My condolences to you and your family.

That's a great picture. You can really see her personality shine through!

*Akilah Sakai* said...

My sympathies to you and yours. This post was a very beautiful tribute, Bibi.

Rachel said...

I'm so sorry, BIBI. She sounds like a wonderful woman. I hope you find comfort with your family this week.

Christine said...

deepest sympathy for your loss...

Speedcat Hollydale said...

Sounds like she took the years she had and used them wisely, with love and attention to the important things. Wonderful tribute indeed.

Hugs from Eric,

Anonymous said...

Bibi, I'm so sorry for your loss.

It sounds like your aunt was a wonderful and special lady who will be missed greatly.

As sad and hard as this is, the way I see it is that she's in heaven with God now and at peace. And someday, hopefully in a good long time, you'll see her again.

Lucy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.
You wrote her a beautiful tribute, she sounded like a wonderful woman.

carma said...

I am so saddened to hear of the loss of your beloved aunt :-(

I have a friend who is unfortunately battling a brain tumor that is inoperable, but treatable. I am hoping that he'll defy the odds and be around for many many more years.

It is wonderful that you had your aunt around to provide such love and support support to you over the years. I'll be thinking of you on Friday. My sympathies..

Stone said...

**as we celebrate not her death, but the life that she led**

Yes, that's it...her life by far outweighs her death...

I'm so sorry...I know how hard it is to see a loved one suffer.
All the best for you and your family...from the bottom of my heart.

BIBI said...

Mrs. GB- Thank you for your condolences. They are truly and greatly appreciated.

Akilah- Thank you for your sympathies and reading the tribute to my Aunt. The funeral was beautiful, but sad. She will be greatly missed!

Rachel- Thank you. We comforted each other as we all realized how much she has affected our lives.

Christine- Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

Speedcat- Thank you for the big hug. It was greatly needed.

Cyndi- Thank you as she will be missed greatly. We won't be holding a family reunion this year because she was the top organizer of such events. Thank you again for the comforting words.

Lucy- Thank you for the comment and heartfelt sympathies.

Carma- I am so sorry to hear about your friend. I am so glad that the brain tumor is treatable. Thank you for the comment. I really appreciate it.

Stone- Thank you Stone for the sympathies. She will be greatly missed. The funeral services were beautiful as we all realized that her death was not to be celebrated but her life. I also learned that while she was feeding the homeless many of them came to her funeral as well. They sat with us as family and shed tears with us as well. She will be missed A LOT!

Thank you all for the heartfelt sympathies and condolences. You guys rock!

Now back to our daily scheduled program... :D

*Akilah Sakai* said...

"I also learned that while she was feeding the homeless many of them came to her funeral as well. They sat with us as family and shed tears with us as well."---

That is such a wonderful thing, Bibi! Truly beautiful that people she helped came as well.

The Mind of a Mom said...

I have been away from blogging and the blog world. My prayers go to you and your family. Your auntie will live on in your hearts

Take Care of yourselves