I loved my aunt. I met her for the first time when I was a teenager. She lived on the east coast while my mom was raising her family in Iowa, and in those days, distance and lack money for travel kept the twins apart. It was eerie waking up on the sofa in her Baltimore apartment--like I'd been transported to a parellel universe where a woman who looked just like my mother was making my breakfast in a city I'd never been to.
In the 80s after my mom and my aunt were both widows, they moved back in together and were housemates for decades. Every year they came to visit me and my family in California. My daughters sometimes referred to my Aunt Millie as a "bonus" grandma. The twins were a package deal--no doubt much like they'd been as children
My mother's loss is profound, and I try to imagine what it's like to experience her particular grief. My own grief at the death of my aunt feels as though it's waiting in the wings while center stage a weeping old woman looks in a mirror and there's no one looking back.
|Maybe 4 years old?|
|Age 7 /First Holy Communion--|
my grandmother cut her wedding veil in two to
make their veils