I had an aunt, a very special aunt. She was my best friend, confidante and advisor. Older than my mother by less than a year, she was always there when I needed her.
For many years she lived in Greenwich Village. Spending a night with her was a special treat that I always looked forward to. Her tiny apartment was lined with books – after all she was in the antique medieval book business. Respected throughout the United States for her knowledge, yet she had never finished school. They had taught her all that they could; the rest she learned from her employer, who became her husband, books and experience.
She was brilliant, spoke over seven languages, yet she could speak the language of her niece, as a teen, young adult, and thence older. She is no longer with me, but her voice and her wisdom, I hope, always will be.
Oh yes, other “aunts” have been present in my life, as we called the special neighbors and friends who enriched our lives. There was Aunt Helen, who occasionally fed and clothed us when my mother was “not available,” Aunt Ruth, who played Mahjong with my mother on a weekly basis, and a “real” aunt – Eva – who made the best blueberry pies and pancakes.
But there was and is only one Aunt Jo!