I mentioned earlier this week that Saturday is my Aunt's birthday. I figured that if I can write a blog, I should be able to write a birthday letter to her. The thing is, I don't want to make her sad. I couldn't possibly write a letter that doesn't include something about my mom (her dead sister). She is my aunt because I had the mom I did and she had the sister she did. Leaving Momma out would be artificial. If you were me, would you include the letter in her birthday card, give it to her separately and tell her to read it later, or mail it and let her read it on her own a week after her birthday? I just don't know. I'm past the point where all mentions of my mom make me said. Should I assume she is, too?
I'm sharing here the contents of the letter. I don't think there is anything so personal here that the world couldn't know it. (Names of Aunts are changed just in case they'd feel weird about having their names broadcasted on the interwebs.)
July 16, 2011
Dear Auntie Li,
It’s your birthday and I’ve been thinking about all sorts of memories from my childhood which include you.
I remember being a little girl looking through the photograph album and always stopping at your picture, because you were the prettiest lady in it.
I remember you inviting me to go downtown with you and my cousins to see the air show.
I remember the day we cousins were sitting on the porch where grandma lived on Bernard and we heard my Momma yell out “LYDIA!” “LYDIA!” several times. I could tell she was annoyed, so I chose to hide out on the porch, glad I wasn’t you. “She hears me! Why isn’t that girl coming?” I heard my Momma say while you and Aunt Josie laughed and laughed. I envied you all having sisters, because you could dare laugh at your sister right in front of her while she mad. Now that’s what I call a good relationship! It turned out, my Momma was distractedly calling the wrong name! She meant to call my name, but said yours instead, I presume because she was busy and distracted. (I wonder just a little if it was because she was bossy to you sometimes, too.) You and Aunt Josephine laughed and laughed, then told her she was calling your name not mine, and she laughed, too! (And she was still mad at me for not coming, because I should have known she meant me!)
Now Momma is in heaven, and I know you still bring her joy and laughter. I don’t think Momma could enjoy heaven near so much if there wasn’t someone she could count on here to tell me to carry a sweater, wear sunscreen, and just overall care what happens to me.
Thank you for being my Aunt. I love you. Happy Birthday. I hope this year brings you many happy memories!
Love Your Favorite Niece,