A Case for Aunts

Aunt’s are important, no doubt about it. What I have been privy to in my life is that more than important, Aunt’s are vital. While I value my Uncle’s they have not had the profound affect in my life that my Aunt’s have and as I look around me I realize that Aunt’s are truly our second Mom’s. They stand beside and stand-in when necessary. They are the backing of the Mother, necessary because we all know we don’t listen to our Mother’s. I have had the pleasure of having the most amazing Aunt’s and being an Aunt myself. I have also had the privilege of witnessing the dedication of Aunt’s that have become Mom’s as if it were their calling.

I have four Aunt’s and each of them have been profound in my life:

My youngest Aunt, only years older than me, was a key figure in my teenage years offering friendship and guidance when I needed it the most. We shared the greatest laughs, some that I still remember vividly today and still bring a smile to my face. She taught me how to keep a smile despite your circumstances as I watched her always make the best of what she was given…and later…taken away.

My closest Aunt has truly been a second mother to me and in most cases standing in where my parents were absent. Not taking away from my own parents, she was simply ALWAYS there. She cared about me as if I were one of her own, and has made me believe I am, I was and always will be. Her children became my brothers and sisters which was a much needed respite for an only child and today still provide that reach I would be lonely without.

My last two Aunt’s are called “The Aunts” because they are a pair and one is only as great as the other. They are the perfect pairing of kindness and sarcasm. They are honest and humorous. They are gracious and critical. They are the perfect yin and yang. They push me hard knowing I need it and yet offer a loving understanding when I cannot push any more. The secret weapon of the duo is the one that is so much like my Mom that I have to take a deep breath at times for the breath that is taken away when she makes a familiar look, response or shares that part of our history that only she could know.

I am so blessed to be an only child with a HUGE family thanks mostly to the Cuban side of my family. As much as I have enjoyed my own Aunt’s I have also had the privilege of being an Aunt to many. Many of my nieces have moved on to their own lives however there is the one that continues to hold me close and reminds me of my own need for Aunt’s in life. The only thing better than understanding the “case for Aunt’s” is seeing when my niece understands the case so well that she takes on her role as Aunt as expected, stepping in without being asked and passing on this important relationship to yet another niece or nephew. She is repeating what was done for her and is blessed for having an Aunt that gave her life, for the sake of making sure hers and her siblings were uninterrupted.

Last but never least, are those Aunt’s that are titled by heart and not bloodline. As an only child and only having a brother-in-law my children were never meant to have Aunt’s. However, don’t tell them that because they know a world full of Aunt’s that have been as significant in their lives as if blood, if not more. Cousins that became sisters became their first Aunt’s. Best Friends that love my children as if they were their own became Aunt’s. Best of all is that MY Aunt’s immediately took the responsibility of a second-generation of Aunt-rearing that has served my children well.

So today I make a “Case for Aunts” the closest and the most extended. Today I am reminded that without my Aunt’s I would be “less than”. I am better because of them, they are changed because of me and together we are one. One…whole and never apart.

Life as I appreciate it – L.

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