My Aunt Natalie

natOur relationship began the year that I was born. Aunt Natalie was on her mission in Germany and my parents sent her pictures of their new, little girl. Nat told me she loved my baby pics with all of the hair I had and my “rosebud lips.” My parents were excited to add a girl to their family of three rambunctious boys. At least I’m assuming that they were!

Anyway, growing up, I’ve been blessed to have some fabulous aunts and uncles and good relationships with all of them, but my relationship with Nat has been different. I feel like she’s looked out for me. Perhaps she does this for all of her nieces and nephews, but she definitely made me feel like I was the main object of her love and support. That is a gift. And I loved feeling that way.

She often joined us for Christmas mornings. Once we got up, we knew that we had to wait for her to come, for Grumma to come, for Dad to shower and for the camcorder to charge (because there wasn’t the foresight to actually charge it on Christmas Eve instead). Then, we raced down the stairs to the chaos of Santa’s deliveries. My parents always had something special under the tree for Natalie, but I distinctly remember one year hearing that Nat was coming and thinking she doesn’t have a gift. I opened up my white desk drawer, pulled out the remainder of my green and black modeling clay and try to make her a gift. In the end, it was a very small violin case (green) with a tiny black kitten curled up inside of it. I baked it in the oven, placed it in a small box and wrapped it up. I probably had to explain what it was when it was opened, but I just remember thinking that I didn’t want her coming to see all of our gifts and she didn’t have anything. Turns out, there were some other gifts under the tree for her that year, too.

Another Christmas, we had a huge snow storm that day and Nat’s little Honda was buried. And I’m serious, too. It was buried. So she cozied up with us in our home and stayed the night. It seemed extra special. Dad, at one point, ventured out somewhere to get a bunch of food and we also spent the day eating all of the sugary treats from neighbors. That was the year that some of those neighbors that lived further down the street lost their power. We were happy to still have ours and curl up around the fire in a warm home, snowed in.


To ring in the new year of 2001, Maren (sister), Laura (cousin) and I planned a big trip to San Francisco because Nat had moved out there, living in Palo Alto. The entire trip was EPIC. I can’t even do it justice in a short paragraph. It could fill a novella. We had a blast taking tons of pictures and all of the grand activities that we did with our fabulous aunt. We didn’t know before hand, but on that trip we would experience “the coldest day of our lives,” when we left early, early in the morning, bundled in all of the clothes we had packed, to ride out on the ocean in a friend’s boat to see whales. It was cold that morning but soon warmed up, especially for a bunch of Utah girls, and we laughed and laughed at all of the layers Maren and Laura had to take off before they sweat to death. We didn’t see any whales, but we did see a bunch of porpoises and a big wave crashed over the front of the boat. Superb adventure!

auntie_n_and_meNat has helped me out in so many more ways, from giving me some little jobs when I was in college to help with earning a little money, to coming over and helping me organize my tiny condo. She’s always willing to share her talents, like mad organizational skills, and her incredible gift as a violinist. I love listening to her and my Mom play together.

Tonight, there is a concert, but she won’t be playing in it. Instead, the concert is FOR her. Just before Christmas, we found out that she was sick—very sick. She’s been diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer, two types, that have spread throughout her body. It’s something that I truly haven’t grasped because to me, she is still the incredibly happy, laughing Aunt Natalie, not the sick Aunt Natalie riddled with cancer. So this concert tonight is a benefit for her and many musicians are donating their time so that all of the money from ticket sales go to help her pay for her fight. Nathan and I will take little Dom so that we can support her because it’s a little something that we can do. I wish we could do so much more than this little bit and to pray for her constantly. I love my Auntie N.

Notably Natalie Benefit Concert

Our dear friend and fellow musician, Natalie Reed, was recently diagnosed with a very agressive stage four cancer. We announce an all-star benefit concert in her honor. 100% of the proceeds will go towards bringing her help and hope. Please come with generous hearts and enjoy one of the greatest evenings of entertainment you could ever imagine.

PERFORMERS: (in alphabetical order) Aaron Ashton Band, Kurt Bestor, Alex Boye, Peter Breinholt, Kenneth Cope, Lex D’Azevedo, Michael Dowdle, Jenny Jordan Frogley, Jesse Clark Funk, Sue Krupa Gray, and The Piano Guys ( Jon Schmidt, Steven Nelson)

AND: Hillary Alleman, Andrea Ashdown, Brant Bayless, Daron Bradford, Meredith Campbell, Jasmine Campbell, Richard Elliott, Will Hagen, Ben Henderson, Becca Moench, Jed Moss, Kelly Parkinson, David Porter, and Kevin Shumway

SOUND: Bob Abeyta

Only $20 a seat at the door (or much much more if you feel you can.)

Doors will open at 6:45.

Donations also accepted here:


One comment

  1. Oh Lares, I am so sorry about your Aunt Natalie! I’ve talked to her just a few times, but she is always so happy and energetic. I remember you telling stories about her and your special connection. What a fabulous woman! I hope the benefit had a good turnout. We’ll be praying for Natalie!


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