This eulogy was read by Aurora’s pastor during her funeral service on Saturday, April 17, 1999. AURORA ALEU MCCARTHY was born in 1956, in Santiago, Cuba as the fourth daughter of Alberto and Olga Aleu.
From the day she was born she radiated the joy of life. Her big eyes and smile brought a new song to her family. After Castro took the reins of power and turned Cuba into a Communist state, Aurora’s parents decided their daughters deserved a better future. After relinquishing ownership of their home to the government, Olga and Alberto and the six girls left Cuba in 1965 for Spain and then New Jersey.
When they arrived in South Plainfield, Olgy, the oldest, was 14, Aurora was 9. As a playful child, Aurora was the life of the party. In high school, Aurora became a cheerleader, and the captain of the varsity squad. She even took her team to state competitions.
Aurora was led to Christ by her family in Cuba, and was a dynamic witness of her faith through her high school and college years. During weekends, she would love to get away to visit her close sister, Alina and her husband Bob, and have fun with them. Aurora loved to sing and dance, and when Disco came in, she could be found in New York on weekend’s at Studio 54. In 1981, she received a Broadcasting and Communications degree from the University of Miami, intending to be an anchor woman.
After working as a TV news writer for two years, she was diagnosed by the Mayo Clinic as having Multiple Scerosis. She would always say, “I have MS, MS doesn’t have me!” By the summer of 1985, Aurora was using crutches. But for her wedding in August, she determined to walk down the isle, with her father holding her arm. Her new husband carried her back down the isle at the end of the wedding ceremony. Within 18 months, he abandoned her.
For the next ten years, Aurora lived in her mother’s home in New Jersey, along with her sisters, Maricel and Alice. Although in a wheel chair, Aurora kept a full schedule, and was active in swimming, shopping or visits to the New Jersey shore. And on Sunday, she got out to church at Faith Fellowship for praise and worship.
In 1997, Aurora and her mom, moved to Colorado Springs to live with Jay and Olgy, and David and Christine. Although she was bed-bound by that time, here in the Pikes Peak region, Aurora’s quality of life flourished when Interim, a local home health agency, began working with her and loving her to health.
Aurora, whose name means “the dawn,” received her cold therapy at the break of each day. That cold therapy was a cold shower, 20 to 40 minutes! Far beyond the call of duty, Donna, LeAnn, Gloria, Ann, Ben, Karen, Teresa and many other nurses and CNA’s loved Aurora to life, to where she could eat by mouth and be fully awake throughout the day.
Members of Spring Harvest Fellowship, especially Mary Annette Kahler, visited Aurora each week to feed her soul with the Word of God, and pray for her. Sally Bohart would visit Aurora often to give her massages. Jim and Candice Brakes enjoyed visiting her also, taking their guitar to sing with her. Although Aurora only got out to her church in Colorado Springs once for evening service, she was a vital part of its family.
Aurora died on Wednesday, April 14, 1999 of MS, but she was never defeated by the disease. This past Saturday, before her seizure on Sunday, she told her physical therapist Ben, “Why are you wasting time exercising my arms, just get my fingers working, because I want write a book.”
She was ready to go home and was eager to tell us where she was going. Olgy and Jay tell me that the nurses had asked Aurora in the days before she died, “Where are you spending your nights?” Aurora replied, “I’ve been dancing.”
Aurora Aleu McCarthy, sister of the sunrise, daughter of the dawn, is not asleep this morning, she is fully alive, fully awake and dancing with her Heavenly Father.
Aurora Aleu is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs, Colorado.