I read a quote once that said, “An aunt is a safe haven for a child.” I agree.
After all, an aunt is a parent's sibling, right. Given the gene pool, that means you're probably more like them in appearance, etc., than your mom or dad.
Coming from large families, I was privileged in my childhood to have LOTS of aunts. I'm blessed that most of them are still living.
In fact, we all joke still that I have thin hair because my maternal ones used me as a human Barbie doll. My grandmother had seven children, so I was young when several were still at home. I hung out there, a lot. Learned how to dance to their generation of music.
On my paternal side, there were those aunts that took you into their home and loved you like a Mom. They are some of the same people you hurt for when they're sad.
There are of course those aunts who are not blood kin, but are just as close. They take you under their wings and cook you special foods. I say that because I really believe God gave many aunts wings to carry us along in life.
I had a paternal aunt, by marriage, who lived in Nashville; she was a widow when I was a child. Funny, the things you remember, like her street smart Tabby cat named, “Frisky,” who she cooked an egg for each morning. You also remember during those difficult family times how that aunt was the one who would always send you, then in the mail, Helen Steiner Rice stationery for encouragement.
I've cried with many of my aunts through tragedy, deaths and other family difficulties. With many I've forged friendship and tend to be more like sisters. Many far exceed the general relative term of “aunt.”
I received an email just last week from one of my aunties or MeMe, which is a term of endearment we both share as grandparents. She called me by my childhood nickname-what am I saying-it still is. This meant a lot to me. She is a reader of my blog to which I'm appreciative. I miss her as she's in Florida a lot now.
This same aunt is the one who has always been full of fun and life. She took a bunch of us kids to the theatre to see a “Snoopy" movie. There are some memories that mean a lot to a child.
There are those aunts who don't talk a lot, but you remember their smiles and how they endeared being the source of many family pranks. You remember those who hugged you close and cuddled you in their laps--just because you needed that extra loving at an awkward age.
I have aunts who've brought truckloads of laughter to my life. From packing into a car on Halloween, wrecking “the new truck,” to silly shopping trips when you spray on too much perfume. Do we all get along, not always. Even still, we still manage to make our times together “a hoot.”
I have aunts, close to my age, who bullied me. Oh yes, I know you remember dragging me through the rain at school, getting my anklet socks and patent-leather shoes wet? Seriously, we just laugh about that these days. This one aunt is like my sister today.
There's always an informant in the family. I think that was me. There was an understanding between me and the aunts how I could quickly broadcast to my grandmother about a day's event. So, my aunts and I had a bond. Some secrets remain decades later.
I remember my older, non-married working aunts spending their hard-earned pay on me. There are those who stand out like Lucy and Ethel more than others. Yes, I was old enough to remember the pressure cooker blowing off its top and spewing turnip greens all over the ceiling.
I can attest to what it was like to drive at a high rate of speed in a '65 Mustang. I was styling along with aunts in the “Doodle Bug,” as we use to call the Volkswagen.
There were the ice cream events at the grandparents in Halls Mill. The jokes, the laughter, the fun are all things I hold dear to my heart.
Someday I'll write a book about it. But for now, if you have an aunt, hold her close to your heart. Visit her if you can, even if it's to show your respects. They're worth a million.
I'm an aunt now. My nieces and nephews are busy starting careers and getting their educations. I do pray that I'm an aunt who will embrace them anytime they need a hug. Most still joke about my driving. The thing kids remember: the people who loved them.
Here's a little poem about aunts which hopefully will add a little sunshine to your weekend. Only an Aunt...can give hugs like a mother, can keep secrets like a sister, and share love like a friend.