My aunt Betsy was the type of person who would tell us that she didn’t like us to make a fuss over her, but I could see the smile that she couldn’t hide when she came to visit and we rolled out the red carpet for her. She was like a second mother to my sister and me when we were kids, and we loved to pamper her when we got to see her here and there when we became adults. After she passed away, my sister and I were looking at Jewish monuments in New Jersey and she looked over at me and said, “Which one should we get?” I answered, “One of the best ones!” We both smiled at one another because that’s exactly how we acted when we knew that Aunt Betsy was coming to visit.
Our mom is fantastic. She was always there for us. It just so happened that our aunt was there for us, too. She only had one marriage, and it didn’t work out. Because she was single for so long, she didn’t have any children. So she jumped right into help Mom with hearing things. We all loved it. She helped mom take us places that we needed to go, she picked us up from school on many occasions and she even sat with us when we were sick at times and mom couldn’t take time off of work. Her supplies of hugs and praise was never-ending. Of course, she was really stern when she needed to be as well.
Both my sister and I moved away as adults, and we soon learned that we really disliked being away from our two mothers. But we were both newly married and had new lives to tend to in different states. We made video calls back home, sent plenty of emails, and we shared lots of laughs and loves when we were able to come home for visits. It was hard to lose her for good.