Wednesday, November 16, 2016

In Praise of Aunts

A short time ago Miss Martha was asked if she owned many Aunts. She replied that she had just the two but that she was in possession of many Great-Aunts. She actually has four Great-Aunts of her blood and three Great-Uncles. One Great-Uncle she has yet to meet. I believe he lives in the South of France. Martha is very impressed with her Aunts (and Uncles) and, after our recent trip to Sligo for Great-Aunt Leitrim Sister's graduation she said that she would like it if we all, her sister, parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles all lived together in the Great Southern Hotel, Sligo forever and ever. Well - it did have a swimming pool and an amazing breakfast bar. I don't know what we'd do with our dogs, cats, chickens and pigs though. Martha hadn't thought that one through. There are at least eleven dogs in our family alone. And I'd miss the poly tunnels.

My own three daughters lives were greatly enhanced by Aunts. For a time all four of them lived in London and they welcomed their nieces every year just as soon as they were old enough to travel alone.  Summer jobs were provided too and their experience widened in a safe and loving environment. Then one of the London Sisters became a Kerry Sister and there was some place else to be.

I wasn't short of Aunts myself. Five on my mother's side and two on my father's and a veritable Heap of Aunts by marriage. We made no difference - an Aunt was an Aunt. Vancouver Brother stayed with me last week and we visited a few of them, one my mother's sister - the last of the Blood Aunts and two By Marriage Aunts. It was very satisfactory. The funny thing about Aunts is, as we all get older, the age difference gets smaller. At Martha's age I thought they were elderly. They were merely in their late twenties and early thirties. Now I'm not a kick in the arse behind these amazing women in their eighties who are still getting on with their lives. They are maybe a little frailer but wiser and just as kind as ever they were.

I possess two nephews, three nieces and three great-nieces though I'm not much good at the Aunt thing. My children, my grandchildren and even myself have received great benefits from the Aunts in our lives and there's me - mediocre Ol' Aunt Nelly. Something to ponder on.

Martha and Evie hanging out with all the Great-Aunts and two Great-Uncles. And me.

I was so taken with my recent Aunt Contact that I sought another one out today. A By Marriage one who showed me great kindnesses in my younger days.She lives only a bare ten miles away and yet it is well over a year since I visited. I need to be a better Niece as well as a better Aunt.

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