Thursday, November 19, 2009

Encounters/Visiting With My Aunts

I have been blessed with many aunts—fourteen to be exact, the sisters and sisters-in-law of my parents. When I was a little girl they took me downtown for ice cream; as I got older, they organized excursions into Manhattan for a Broadway show and lunch at La Fonda del Sol; and when I was a sulking teenager, they rescued me from the boredom at home by whisking me off to their summer places at the Jersey shore or Cape Cod. They celebrated my accomplishments, taught me how to wear make-up and gave me a glimpse of my heritage with the priceless gift of my grandparents’ love letters.

Now that my mother is gone, they take turns filling her shoes.

Last Saturday, I visited with two of them for what seems to be turning into an annual affair. My cousin Lisa brings her mother, Aunt Cathy, from Connecticut to our Aunt Kay and her daughter Kathy, and I drive in from western Massachusetts to join them. We spend hours around the kitchen table, lingering over homemade soup and pumpkin pie and a few glasses of wine. We tell stories and call up memories that link us in our shared history. We talk about our hair—curly—and our children, all trying to make their way in the world.

The conversation, the laughter and the love nourish us all.

No comments: