Yes, this post is indeed dedicated and is a tribute to my beloved maternal aunt, Sandra, who did pass away just a few days ago, when she was only 57.

Aunt Sandy was both my mom and my other aunt, Sue’s, younger sister. My father, brothers, and I had not actually seen her since my grandmother, Lainie’s, funeral service trip, one decade ago in June (she passed away on May 2nd of that year). Yeah, it is normal to not see your aunts that often, yet mom, on the other hand, still had indeed seen her since then.

Poor Sandy had been in certain declining health for the past 6 years. I especially feel sorry for my mom, Aunt Sue, and my grandpa Jack (Lainie’s widower, and the father of mom, Sandy, and Sue). Not many, at all, can say that they have lost a younger sibling or youngest child.

My mom and Aunt Sandy (right) from our first visit to Aunt Sandy and Uncle Chip’s house in summer 2009 (I will explain that more just below).

Unlike mom and Aunt Sue, Sandy never did have any children, although she was still once married, to Gary Van Lieu (who has since remarried and had a son with his new wife) and, later on, lived with a boyfriend of hers for a fair while, Chip.

My family and I visited her (and Uncle Chip (despite never being married to Sandy, we still do refer to Chip as our uncle, as well)) in the summer of 2009, and again the year after. Man, do I have some fair memories of those trips! Aunt Sandy and Uncle Chip also had this pool in the back of their house (as some people do nowadays). And was it fine being in there, or what?

Of course, I also had seen her outside of those trips, such as our Dennis family cruise trip from 2011. Another example is when I was still really young, along with Uncle Gary. Although as I stated above, I had not seen her since our trip to Lainie’s memorial services.

Aunt Sandy, like her father, was also a proud worker of the Annin Flag Company (seriously, the oldest one in the nation); she was actually the senior vice president of its mass market sales! She had also worked in HR, Production, Purchasing, and Planning at Annin. She had also worked at another In addition – this is no joke – she was also the president of the Flag Manufacturers Association of America for quite a few years! She had also been in charge of the coordinating, selecting, and having collage scholarships awarded there. Consider such a flag career!

Now, in order to pay tribute to Aunt Sandy’s flag career, I have just posted this video of international flags blowing in the wind (as the video’s title says) for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Now, you perhaps have heard of the old Cartoon Network series the Powerpuff Girls, and just below would also just be a specific cartoon drawing involving them that I made for Aunt Sandy’s memory…

(Of course, this is not how Aunt Sandy’s ACTUAL grave marker will appear, just like this for the cartoon tribute drawing; that is how other cartoon tribute artwork which I have seen on the internet is as well!)

What does a Powerpuff Girls drawing like this one specifically have to do with this? Well, I will be glad to explain that to you below…

Once in 1999, mom was shopping with our family (before my birth) at Mall of America, and she purchased three Powerpuff Girls dolls from a toys and games store there, (one of each Powerpuff Girl). Afterwards, she held on to the Blossom doll for a keepsake, while the other two dolls went to each of her two sisters; she gave the Buttercup doll to Aunt Sue, while the Bubbles one went to, of course, Aunt Sandy.

I am also such familiar with the Blossom keepsake doll, since we have held onto it ever since then! (In case you were curious on the status of the other two keepsake Powerpuff Girl dolls though, the Buttercup doll, somehow, no longer appears to be present at Aunt Sue’s house, and who knows where Aunt Sandy’s Bubbles doll is now, especially since…well, you know :() I have also seen artwork of animated characters mourning a person’s loss on the internet as well.

The very Blossom doll which mom purchased for a keepsake.

One final thing that I would like to add for this post as a tribute to Aunt Sandy is a specific song, which would be Carole King’s “So Far Away.” This is just a song that I liked to have kept playing in Aunt Sandy’s car during at least one of our trip visit her and Uncle Chip, and considering that Aunt Sandy is now gone in heaven, this is fairly rational enough.


JUNE 29, 1966 – OCTOBER 26, 2023