Aunts and nieces

While in Carova, NC having Adelaide around, I thought a lot about the special relationship between aunts and nieces.

On my mother’s side of the family, I am blessed with wonderful aunts and one aunt in particular was like a mother to me while I was growing up.

You see, when I was a young girl (10yrs old), my brother (then 2yrs old) and I stayed in Portugal with my dad’s sister for 3 years while my parents came to the U.S.A. to better their lives to give both my brother and I more opportunities.

Although my dad’s sister (I won’t call her aunt) always made my mom’s absence obvious by not treating us like her own, my aunt Marilia (my mom’s brother’s wife) who we would spend our summers with, always made me miss my mom less.

My aunt Marilia always treated both my brother and I the same way she treated her own 2 children.

She never gave us less. She never gave us more. She always gave us the same.

During the time that we were around my aunt Marilia, I always felt like I had a mother around.

Someone who was caring, loving but also was not afraid to discipline.

Because stuff happens and some relationships don’t last forever, Adelaide was in Carova without her mom. And most likely during our future family time together, she will be without her mom.

Being a 4yr old without her mom while watching her cousin with her mom is not easy. This I know by experience.

Thanks to my aunt Marilia, I also know the difference an aunt can make.

I hope that as Adelaide grows, I can continue to be a good aunt to her and that one day when she is older, she can think of me in the same way I think and cherish my dear aunt Marilia.

 Adelaide, me and Lily. september 2011

my cousin Helena with her daughter Sofia and my aunt Marilia with Lily. november 2010

The hardest part

The hardest part about being so far away from family is… well, being so far away from family.

Yesterday I spoke with my mom and she gave me sad news about her brother, my uncle.

He is in the hospital and will be going through chemotherapy soon.

Aging is so hard isn’t it?

Not necessarily our own process of aging but watching our elders age.

It always kills me to think about the fact that my parents, aunts and uncles are getting (shall I say it?) old and their health is failing some of them.

To think that I can’t be there for moral support.

To think that I already lost a dear uncle not too long ago and I might be losing another.

The older we all get, the harder it is.

I hope it is not my uncle’s time, it doesn’t feel like his time.

I hope I get to see him again.

Good thoughts for my tio Antonio Carlos.

primo Abel, tio Antonio Carlos, my mom and avo Maria Teresa in Mozambique, early 1950’s