Friday, September 05, 2008

She let me have Blow-pops for Breakfast

When I was a little girl, my Aunt Ilene babysat me quite a bit. One of my earliest and dearest memories is when I stayed with her while my mother was in the hospital giving birth to my sister. I remember returning to my aunt's apartment building, and sitting down in the lobby to put on a beautiful, gold, sparkly, plastic pair of high-heels. I can hear the clip-clip-clip as we walk to the elevator, and I remember showing the shoes off to my grandma who was upstairs in the apartment.

My aunt and her family eventually moved out of Brooklyn to Long Island. We spent many a fun-filled weekend there, playing with my cousins and the other neighborhood kids. We loved my aunt, and knew she loved us. So it was only natural, when my father told us that he'd had an affair and that my parents were getting divorced, that I'd want to go be with Aunt Ilene.

Before my parents sat us down that June afternoon, we knew something strange was going on in our house. My mom had lost a lot of weight, and I worried that she was dying. When I found out why she lost the weight, I felt a great responsibility to be strong for her, and to be angry at my father on her behalf. I knew how much my mother loved me (a subject for a post of its own). But I knew I needed comforting, and I didn't feel I could ask that of her.

So my dad took me out to Suffolk county, and I spent a few days there, soaking in the love and hanging out. I'll never forget the first morning. My aunt had gone to the office, and called to check on me. She asked "what'd you have for breakfast?" When I answered "two Blow-pops," she responded "that's good." No- ohmygosh that's no good! You'd better eat something else! Just acceptance. And love.

I told both of these stories at my aunt's 60th birthday party this summer. I ended by saying that everyone needs an Aunt Ilene, who'll let them have Blow-pops for breakfast. The party was a surprise, and she was shocked to see my family and me there. I shared some memories that my sister emailed to me since she wasn't able to come to the party. I made it through my stories without tears, but couldn't read the last line of my sister's email through my tears.

This post inspired by today's post on Supersisters- a new blog by Jen Lemen and two of her equally amazing sisters.

7 comments:

Sarah said...

My uncle has that same appeal to me. He helped me out in a very similar situation. Let's just say my parents stuck it out but a very painful time. I like the blow-pops story!

jen lemen said...

love this story so much. thanks for sharing it with us.

cathy said...

Wow. I love this story. I love that you have an Aunt Ilene.

I want one, and I want to be a better one. I was a rancid mother today, and my kid needs a blow pop.

patience said...

blow pops! of course, the kid's answer to dark chocolate...i love it. love this story too!

Maria said...

Everyone does need an Aunt Ilene. I wish I had had one!

Kiandra said...

i loved blow-pops...such a great story. this was so touching...i don't know if i had an aunt ilene...oh wait my mom's best friend arlene...she would always love me to pieces right along with her two kids...

i think now my grandma is my aunti ilene...right now..she gives me so much love and comfort and joy!

bipolarlawyercook said...

This is one of the best post titles, and best posts, I've read in a long time. Hugs.