Our aunts are our second mothers. They carry tradition, and secret medicine. Those of you who have purchased a Jiva-Apoha 8 oz bottle of body oil or a face oil online have received a cloth medicine bag with a leather cord. They happen to be made by a fine woman who blesses them, and a favored elder of mine-- my Aunt Idell. I was given her middle name. I’m the third Marie in the family: there is Great Aunt Marie, Aunt Idell Marie, and little Angela Marie (that’s me!). And what a honor it is to be named after my Aunt Idell.  I grew up with strong women in my family. Other than my Mama Clyde, I have four aunts; each unique, nurturing, and very spiritual. My Aunt Idell is of high vibration to say the least, one who took care of me often as a young child, and we’ve always had a special connection. She doesn’t have any children, so I’ve always been like her daughter, and she is like my second mom. Her heart is full of pure love and light. Aunt Idell is an amazing folk artist with a style influenced by Native American culture and tradition. She paints, draws, sews, and beads. She believes her gift has been handed to her from God, and that she is here to do the work with her craft. She was born in 1943 in North Carolina. When she was in the 5th grade she won her first art contest, putting ten dollars in her pocket by painting a poppy flower. The natural beauty of farm life was her inspiration. It wasn’t until her Thirties that she started having health issues (mostly kidneys). Aunt Idell lived in discomfort as her kidney disease progressed unchecked, as she was without any medical help for nearly eighteen years. Her FAITH in the Lord was keeping her alive. When she fell profoundly ill, she finally was in a position to receive care from several doctors. They performed many blood tests on her and the team of kidney specialists was in total disbelief that she was even alive; a walking miracle indeed. I remember taking her to the dialysis center a few times, and how it pained me to see her sit in that icy-cold room with the noxious stench of bleach, watching the machines churning her blood over and over to cleanse it. In time, I learned that patients who I had met and chatted with from time to time eventually passed away. Aunt Idell kept her FAITH strong, and found herself outliving the local dialysis patients. She chose to stay on dialysis for 13 years, going three times a week (which in itself was another miracle!}. What that showed to the world was incredible dedication to preserving her life as long as she possibly could. Aunt Idell then became the one to aid in the healing of others, and she did so through her FAITH in the power of God. She quickly changed her diet to one that was colorful and vibrant. She prepped her foods with prayer, and was now getting all the natural enzymes and vitamins her body needed. She attained a healthy lifestyle with organic vegetables, herbs, tonics, and greens for strength. Aunt Idell said “bye-bye” to sodas, processed foods and sugars.  She quickly learned the only way to beat her kidney dis-ease was to recognize the healing sources in our foods, and in her continued FAITH. And so it goes, Aunt Idell finally got on a donor list. She refused to accept a family member’s kidney but within a few months, a wonderful gift from God arrived; there was a match for her. (Incidentally, we all call her donated kidney Idella!) It was also necessary for her to have a triple heart bypass surgery before receiving Idella.  It’s been almost eight years since then. All her levels are normal now and everything is working as it should. Aunt Idell has shown us what true strength is time after time, not once complaining about the pain she had to endure or the hard times she lived through. I wanted to share this story and the love I have for her so that others can learn that so many people are stricken with illnesses, and that we must find ways to heal. In life there is FAITH and diet, the two actions that God gives us in order to make healthy choices. I recently spent some time with Aunt Idell, and its never enough time as we share so many interests and passions in common-- from art and crafts to spiritual discussions to both shared and individual memories. Sometimes it’s as simple as just taking a nap together as we would do when I was a child. Aunt Idell continually gives me hope in so many ways as I continue to learn so much from her. Her biggest challenge currently is her skin, which has suffered over time by having to take much-needed meds for Idella. It has left her skin extremely dry, and thin. She is always looking for natural ways to slowly to weed out her skin issues and to foster healthy skin cell growth and maintenance, which she is great at doing. I keep her in a bounty of Jiva oils and special Green Beauty potions to help soothe and heal the skin, and body in general. She gave me some encouraging advice that never gets old, driving home belief that each day is precious with this woman. “One must have positive thinking; walk in love, change the attitude from negative to positive, give your body nourishment each day, and remember that you are what you eat. “The words you speak can give you life. And her favorite quote, which is; ( ‘He who dwells in the secret place of the most high shall remain stable and find under the shadow of the almighty whose power no foe can withstand’ -Psalm 91) Aunt Idell continues to learn, to teach and to practice FAITH daily. Thank you for showing us that we have the power to trust in God. I honor Aunt Idell today as she turns 73 years old. I always add my numbers, so that 10 is her magical number as the child in fifth grade winning an award. Happy, Happy Birthday Aunt Idell!  Wishing you a powerful year of BLESSINGS, FAITH, and HEALING. I love you with all of my heart! 

Angela (Founder of Jiva-Apoha)

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