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My Favorite Aunty in the World

Updated: Jan 2, 2022

A smile that would instantly make me and everyone around her feel happy and excited to see her. A laugh so contagious the whole room would start to laugh even if they didn’t know why. A hug that made you feel the unconditional love she had in her heart. Love and joy are what you brought to our world, and the mark you left in our lives makes every where we go a better place because of you. That is the memory we are privileged to carry in our hearts when we think of you.

The Lord took my favorite Aunty in the whole world Cecilia Sibayan MacPherson home yesterday morning Thursday, December 30, 2021. All kinds of feelings take over as I process, how it happened and now the why. Why did a passionate, strong, healthy, eager to embrace each new day, loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunty, friend, and most of all ultimate woman of God have to be taken from us so instantly? I think about Uncle and my cousins, and her grandchildren and great grandchildren. If I’m feeling this big void in my heart, I can’t imagine what they are feeling.

Now, I remember my son Nathan’s first birthday party back in 2006. I remember my cousin Bruce (my favorite aunty in the world’s) only son, who had just passed away. Still, she came to Molokai for my son’s celebration, while she mourned her own. She still had her smile, she still laughed. Nathan gravitated to her and wanted to snuggle with her. The whole weekend she was here Nathan would look for her and crawl into her lap and hold her, and she would hold him as long as he wanted. She told me “My Lalā, your son can feel my hurting heart.” They instantly formed a bond, and every time we would see each other again, my favorite Aunty in the world would look for Nathan, and they would hug each other for a long time. She would always remind him how he helped her heal her heart when he was a little baby. For so many years she was feeling all these feelings, of mourning, loss, sadness and all the emotions that come with losing someone you love so much, not to mention her one and only son. How did you do it Aunty? How did you go on all these years with sorrow in your heart and still make us all feel so loved and valued? How did you do it with your big smile and laughter? That is how I know God lived and worked through you while you were here on earth. That is why the pain of missing you, can be filled with joy because you are now having a heavenly reunion with your son Bruce, with your parents Apo and Grandma Connie, and your two brothers Angel, and Andre.

You were supposed to visit us tomorrow, and we were going to have so much fun and do the crazy things we do. The last visit you were here, you asked to do so much. Go for a walk and watch the sunset, go on a hike, and watch the sunrise, go on a boat ride, go out west and play in the sand, immerse your whole body into the waters of Molokai and swim like a mermaid, watch Ikaika catch a fish and hold it like you caught it. We did it all. We had fun. We laughed and enjoyed our time together. I took so many photos and videos of you and caught your laugh so many times. I’m glad I did. I’m glad that was my last memory of you, and it was a joyful and loving one.

“The harder you love, the harder it hurts.”

"Loss even when that loss is a result of obedience to God, creates real suffering and real tears. But God remembers our sufferings and has promised to more than compensate them." Matthew 19:29

Although the absence of you here with us physically, will take some getting used to, I remember this verse

"Our tears are not futile. God knows each of His children intimately, and every tear we shed has meaning to Him. He remembers our sorrow as if He kept each tear in a bottle. In the end, He will share His joy with us when He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:4

I find comfort knowing that you are not in pain, or suffering, you did everything you wanted to each day to the fullest up until your last moment here on earth. Everyone who ever met you and got to spend time with you, felt your love and joy. Your family and friends will remember your smile and laughter, and we will all smile in return when we think of you. Smile as we know that we were all able to be in the presence of a true angel here on earth. That is what your dash means to me.

Cecilia Sibayan MacPherson

April 19, 1957 - December 30, 2021

You will always be my favorite Aunty in the World Aunty Cia...and now in heaven.

Until we meet again, your niece,


Here is a short video of her last visit here with her Molokai family.

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"The Steadfast of the lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" 

Lamentations 3:22-23


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