Everyone should have one relative who is absolutely crazy about her. In my life that was my Aunt Cary, my mother’s much younger sister. Adopted when my mother was nine, Cary and my mother were never terribly close though she did visit with us from time to time. But my relationship with Aunt Cary began in the summer of 1948 when my parents went West to look for work leaving me with my grandparents and my sixteen year old aunt. We spent several months together at my grandparents’ summer home that year. When my mother returned to New York to get me, she had hepatitis from severe mononucleosis and had to rest for a while. My day to day care fell to Aunt Cary.
As you can tell from the above photo, Cary found me fascinating. Here I seem to have brought her a leaf, and she is as intent on it as if I had brought her a nugget of gold. I have photos of my walking with her, lying in the hammock with her and playing croquet(as if a one year old could play croquet.) She celebrated my first birthday with me while my parents were away, making, I am sure, a big deal of it. For Cary many things were a big deal.
She called me “Ort.” It’s a true sign of a connection when an adult has a special word they use just for you!