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A Reflection: The Kindred Spirit I Never Got to Know


She loved watching baseball games (just like me). She used to be a cashier (just like me). She even had a bubbly personality (just like me). 

But I had to find this out from family members who knew her because when my Great Aunt Nettie Dumas Battle passed away from breast cancer when I was two years old, I felt like I missed an opportunity to know someone who was just like me. 

Every time there would be a family gathering, someone would tell me, “you act just like Aunt Nettie,” and all I can do it take their word for it. 

They would tell me how much of a sweet person she was and how excited she was when I was born.

My mother recently told me that one of the last times she held me, she noticed a noticeable growth on her chest, in which she said that it looked like a third breast. 

She tried to tell my Dad, but he said he did not feel comfortable looking at his aunt’s chest and moved on from there. 

Prior to my little sister entering this world, Aunt Nettie and the short time I got to spend with her had already left it.

This time of the year, Breast Cancer Awareness Month,  I always think about my Aunt Nettie and how breast cancer stole the opportunity for me to build a long-lasting relationship with a beautiful person. 

I know that with early detection and annual mammograms, no one will ever miss a chance at meeting their fellow kindred spirit like I had to do with my Aunt Nettie. 



Nettie Dumas Battle

July 25, 1926- August 1983


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