Friday, August 22, 2008

Too Soon Gone

25 years ago this week, my mother lost her best friend. She also lost her only sibling, and her only sister. They were all the same person: my Aunt Carol, or as we called her all our lives, "Auntie."

My Mom and Dad had fixed up Mom's sister, Carol, with Dad's softball teammate, Bennie, and a great romance was sparked. Bennie and Carol married and bought a house one block away from my parents. And that is how I happened to have a somewhat unusual childhood: although we lived in two households, I really had four parents and six siblings. There is a cousin between each child in my family; every year or two the ladies would trade the maternity wardrobe for the crib, and then trade back.

All the children went to the same school and Sunday School, Mom and Auntie volunteered for the same organizations, Dad and Bennie played softball and bowled in the same league. Of course, we celebrated every single birthday, anniversary, and holiday together.

Auntie attended every piano, accordion and ballet recital, every choir program, school play, confirmation and graduation. (Yes, even the infamous Larkspur recital, I'm sure.) Whatever the event, if even one of us was involved, Auntie was in the front row, cheering us on. She loved us completely, unconditionally. I knew that I could always find help if I needed it, just one block away.

Auntie's life was much, much too short, but what an impact she made in the time she had. I know now what a treasure it is to feel this kind of love from someone, someone who's not a parent, and I want so much for all my nieces to feel it, too.

Auntie used to hold my face with both hands, tilt her head slightly, and just beam at me, radiating warmth and affection. I have started doing this with Supergirls 3 and 4, because now, "I get it." Or as SG3 summarized, "I guess it's an Auntie Thing."


ma said...

I can't let this entry go by without comment. You've got her in your heart! You've got her in your memory! You've got her in your words! What a beautiful tribute to your beloved Auntie. Your memories of her are right on spot........she was a beautiful role model, she was a fabulous sister, and she had enough love for everyone.... She was overflowing with love. How can it be 25 years? It was only yesterday.

La Cootina said...

Auntie left a big hole in our lives, but she visits me often in dreams.

EBG said...

Thank you so much for putting into writing how we all feel. I feel the same way about your mom being a second mom to me and Shonnie and Gina. We were very lucky to have been able to grow up together as one big happy family. My mom missed out on so many things because she left us to soon - especially the nachas from her grandchildrena and now greatgrandchildren, but I know she is always watching us and feels our love for her.
Your the best!