Mom's Sweet Auntie From Her Mother's Side...

>> Friday, June 13, 2008

Guess what day it is again -- Friday Fiction day, thanks to Patty at Patterings! Below is a story that made so many at FW choke and sputter! I hope you enjoy. Be sure to go to Patty's link, too, and read the rest that have posted their wonderful pieces of fiction. And one more thing -- let's celebrate! Woohoo! It's Friday!!!!!

Mom’s “Sweet” Auntie from her Mother’s Side, Twice Removed

Ever since we were little, my mom’s aunt from her mother’s side, twice removed, came to see us. No one looked forward to these visits, especially not the females in the family. When my sisters and I were little, she had nothing to do with us but we saw how much she bothered our mother. Our poor mom broke out into a sweat each time she saw Great Auntie at the door with a travel bag in each hand. Our mild-mannered mother yelled at us lots while her aunt from her mother’s side, twice removed, was at our house. We could never do anything right. Even Dad, when he saw Great Auntie coming, would roll his eyes and shrug his shoulders. He pecked Mom on the cheek and then stayed away until dear Auntie moved on.

As we got older, we began to dread her, also. It wasn’t until we were in our early teens that we began to resent the fact that she thought she had the right to visit us monthly like she did. She knocked on the door. We peeked out. Shock and horror showed on our faces as we shared the news.

Her hair was red, as red as a bag full of red peppers and just as fiery, too. She wore a colorful array of clothes and they were always mismatched. One favorite outfit of hers was a bright blue skirt and a purple-polka-dotted over-sized blouse which was complemented by red high-heeled boots with fringe up both sides.

She normally gave us sufficient warning, but sometimes she would breeze in unannounced, and with four women in the family, things got ugly at times. Tempers flared. The men couldn’t understand our aversion to this “sweet” Auntie from our mother’s side, twice removed.

It was the girls that suffered the headaches and irritability. She swooped in and tried to take over family routines. It was quite unsettling. Even then, the men of the family looked at us cross-eyed, wondering what our problem was.

We begged and pleaded with Mom to let us stay home from school when our Great Auntie from our mother’s side, twice removed, came to visit. Just her presence here made us want to sleep our days away. It was hard to concentrate on our schoolwork and her visits made us depressed. The dear old woman snored so loud, also, that we all had difficulty sleeping, the men included. Her one redeeming quality was that she would bring big bags of chocolate with her, but because of that, we seemed to always gain weight when she was around.

The four women in our family began to have very real issues with Great Auntie. We were taken to the doctor and given some techniques that would help us deal with this unwanted visitor. When Dad told us that our “sweet” Auntie from our mother’s side, twice removed, was coming, we would gather in a huddle and strategize.

We exercised. We walked, swam, or rode our bikes. Anything to get us out of the house was worth it plus it made us feel a tad bit better. The boys would ask to join us but we said, “No boys allowed,” because they were quite irritating themselves, you know.

Mom showed us breathing exercises, and sometimes she would even give us gentle massages. By the time Mom celebrated her fifty-fifth birthday, this “sweet” Auntie from her mother’s side, twice removed, began to bug her less and less. It really gave us girls hope for our futures. Of course, if Dad would lay down the law and refuse her entrance into the house, none of this would be an issue, but Dad was a gentle man and said, “Girls, family is family. You can’t pick them and you have to love them but you certainly don’t have to like them. It’s just a fact of life.”

We learned that Great Auntie had no place to live and would go from relative to relative for a place to stay. Such a sad existence this poor woman had, and to think of the bad time we gave her for years. So, in sincere repentance, I write this piece. Thank you for reading this ode to my dear aunt Flo, my dear “sweet” Auntie from my mother’s side, twice removed who still, after thirty-three years, comes to visit me. I eagerly await the day when her visits stop, but until then, I strategize with my daughter and we eat Auntie’s chocolate.

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