Aunty with a capital A

On Becoming an Aunt

New Year Post

Recently I had the fun pleasure of hosting my niece for her very first Thanksgiving in America. After her week-long stay, when I was dropping her off at the train station, she turned to me and said, “Thank you aunty for everything. I felt like I was royalty.”

I wanted to tell her that she shouldn’t thank me. She should be grateful to the woman who taught me how to be a good aunt.

There are plenty of aunties in my life. Anyone who is from India knows we call family friends, neighbors and relatives “aunty” as a sign of respect. But I have one Aunty who stands out.  I’ve known her for most of my life (we met when I was six months old) and I’m the only person in California who has had the honor to be at her wedding day.

Even though I have known her a long time, our friendship/relationship really blossomed when I came over in the 1980s to attend college.

I was an insulated young girl (okay, maybe a little spoiled) but my Aunty C and I took to each other as if we were long-lost friends. We spent hours together.

“I’m bored, Aunty,” I would say and she would whisk me away to one of our favorite haunts– the local public library, Dillon Beach, the Goodwill store (her favorite shopping place) or somewhere for a sweet treat. One summer we discovered a hole-in-the-wall bakery that produced the most delicious fresh strawberry pies. Both of us loved these pies so much, she gladly bought the ingredients so I could try making my own pie. That is how I learned how to perfect my pie crust and work with mascarpone cheese. We ate a lot of pie that summer.

From Aunty I learned to love Southern literature and to make the perfect cup of strong tea. Together we navigated the college catalog, choosing the best classes and professors. We enjoyed our bittersweet chocolate, especially the truffles from Cocolat.

But mostly,  I learned by observing her in action and the way she interacted with people. She taught me how to give my one-pointed attention to everyone, to listen with both ears. She never boasted or dominated a conversation. Now at 97, she is still the same–kind, gentle and still humble.

So, being a good aunty is easy for me because I learned from the best!

Happy New Year to all my readers! May 2019 be filled with books, laughter and peace.

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8 Comments

Filed under Aunts and other relatives, family, Happy New Year! 2019, harmony, mindfulness, my mother's kitche, Nieces, Personal experience, remembering our ancestors, Shopping, South India, Strawberry pie, Uncategorized

8 responses to “Aunty with a capital A

  1. snahal

    This is so sweet and beautiful! It just made my day❤️ You have such a gift! Let’s connect soon❤️

  2. Karla

    DEAR MEERA:

    I will respond more later. For NOW MY HEART, MY HEART. I HAVE TEARS STREAMING.

    I SOOOOO LOVE THIS POST. YOU ROCKED IT, MEERA!!

    Namaste, LOVE AND JOY, AND HAPPY WELCOME TO 2019

    YOU ARE A DEAR SOUL.

    Karla 💕💕💕⭐️💫✨🎶🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

    >

  3. writermeera

    Thank you dear Karla. Happy New Year. Love, Meera

  4. Cindy

    I love this entry. We just had nieces here to visit over the holidays. They call me auntie too. I love it, it’s like a warm hug to my heart. My father had a large Finnish family and I was blessed with many ainties. They were so influential in my life. I’m happy to share that knowledge and gentle guidance with the next generation of our families.

    • writermeera

      Hi Cindy, Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I love being an aunty! Also, my daughter-in-law is Finnish…she got her citizenship a few years back. Has porridge on Christmas Eve! We have so much in common 🙂

      • Cindy

        Such a small world, isn’t it?! I have been trying my hand at making Finnish recipes for my Dad. Mom passed almost 10 years ago. She was a wonderful cook and really taught herself how cook and entertain in the Finnish tradition. Such fun learning about each other!

  5. Paula Horn

    Hi Dear Meera,
    I just read this again for the second time and my heart is so touched by your experiences and how much love you share in your life. You really do teach me so much! I hope we can get together soon, I miss you! Love, Paula

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