Friday, April 6, 2012

By Ellen Frietag Franklin

For the love of my Auntie as life has changed..... she was graduating college when I was born and from the second she held me she said I would always be her child. She was married when I was one yr old. She was not my mother, she is my mother's only sister. Their mom died in childbirth when my mother was almost 7 and she was only 4.
Until I was 4, there was no other child for her to fawn over. Then came Claudia , her daughter, and a yr later my sister, Carol. We lived nearby until I was 5 and my father was transferred 5 hours away. Auntie and I were devastated. She was my second mommy , my playmate, and a wonderful woman to learn from. You see, while my mommy was the greatest mommy in the universe, she was not as much fun as my auntie. I had the best of both. Mommy had to have perfection in everything and Auntie did not care how much sand was in the car from the beach or how many sneakers were lined up on the staircase.
I am sorry this is lengthy, but I so badly want to share the love of our relationship for 56 yrs.
I visited whenever I could as we were children dependent on our parents to drive. I would spend my summers there. We used to " switch kids" . By the time I was 7 she had her son, Bradley. I went to her house to hang with Claudia and Brad came to our home to hang with Carol for the summer since she was a tomboy and they fit well.
I missed my Auntie so badly that I decided to go back there to college. I was still her daughter as far as she was concerned and when a friend of hers yet a stranger to me asked about me when I was out and about with her she always said I was her older daughter.
Times change and our relationships change. When my mother was stricken with cancer and passed away young, our relationship ( Auntie and I) changed. I became the sister instead of the niece/daughter. She became my sister and my friend. We morphed into our new positions.
When my mother passed, as young as I was, my aunt was not able to cope with the tragic loss and I then assumed the roll of family matriarch at a young age.
Auntie just celebrated her 80th birthday and is young at heart and vivacious. I am everything to her and she is everything to me. I am still the daughter, niece, friend, sister, matriarch, and we are as dear to each other as we have ever been.
This may not belong in here, but I was typing it to a friend for a book of hers -- a mere mentioning in it of this unique love, that I thought what the hell.
Thanks for endulging me -- my heart is full--- El

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