It was a little after midnight on September 25, 2012 when I received the call. My sister was on the other end crying so hard that I could barely make out her words. After I hung up the telephone I wanted to call her back to make sure I had heard her correctly, but the pain in my heart told me there was nothing wrong with my hearing. “Somebody killed Zaair.” My oldest brother’s only child was dead.
I scrambled to get dressed so that I could get to my 77 year old mother’s house before some well-intentioned messenger heralded the devastating news to her. As I stood at my mother’s front door at almost one o’clock in the morning wearing a black jogging suit and looking like a nervous burglar; I rehearsed over and over in my head how I would tell my mother that her oldest grandson had been murdered just a few hours earlier.
As I journeyed to New Jersey a few days later to eulogize my oldest nephew, I replayed every moment that I had shared with him. It was love at first sight on the day they placed Zaair in my arms. He smiled, reached out for me and then gave me the first of many wet kisses. From that day until now, it has been nothing, but love. Even when he knew he had disappointed me; I made sure that he always knew that I had his back. I recalled the last time I saw him, he hugged me as if he knew… I never missed not having children after Zaair was born. He was the first baby in our family and he made me something I never was before – an aunt.
I can still hear his voice in my heart, “Hey Auntie, what’s up”? Being an aunt has always been a special honor to me. And I am proud to say that I am a good one. I learned from the best, my Aunt Idella. You see, aunts get to love you, spoil you and then send you home. Aunts help you to understand your parents who you think are from another planet. And some of us aunts are like the Spanish proverb, “Aunts give hugs like a mother, keeps secrets like a sister and shares love like a friend.”
Zaair and I shared a very special relationship. I am a better woman and a more compassionate Christian for having known and loved him. I was so blessed when I heard from so many people after his passing how much he loved his Aunt Monica. I take comfort in that knowledge, but I take even greater comfort in knowing that Zaair knew how much his Aunt Monica loved him.
It is extremely painful looking to the future knowing that I will never see Zaair again in this life. But alas, I do not sorrow as one with no hope. The last conversation we had, Zaair told me that he wanted a bible – the King James version. Zaair wanted the Word and he wanted his little girl Avyanna to know the Word as well. I have no doubt that the Word met him that Monday night. Zaair believed in the Word of God. He believed that if called on Jesus, Jesus would answer him. “…whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved” Romans 10:13.
I have wept every day since the moment I learned that Zaair was murdered. I pray daily for justice as I guard my heart against anger and hatred toward the one who fired the gun and those who led him to the slaughter. I pray for grace to let go and let God. There will never be a day when I will not miss Zaair’s presence on this earth. So I look to the Word to remind me that I will see him again.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel's voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will always be with the Lord. I Thessalonians 4:16-18
My beloved Zaair, rest easy baby, it is not goodbye, but goodnight. Auntie will see you in the morning!
In this crucial hour God is raising up an army of empowered women to speak with boldness and insight. Monica Holland is obviously one of those women. She knows the Bible and she has done her homework. Her words are sharp and she cuts deep when addressing the condition of church today. This modern Deborah offers us a challenge. I hope we are listening. J. Lee Grady, Contributing Editor/Charisma Magazine
© Copyright 2012 by Monica C. Holland. Please Do Not Post This Article On Any Other Website Without Linking It Back To This Page. Do Not Reproduce This Article Without The Written Permission of the Author. Get your copy of my book, “No Ironing on Sundays: Restoring Reverence for God”. "In all your getting, get understanding..." Proverbs 4:7