In first person… Weekends were parties with Auntie

Great-aunt Frieda should've had six children. Her sister, Theresa (my grandmother), came to America, sending for any of the 11 children fleeing Nazi Germany.

Believing they'd not be harmed, many remained.

As a child, weekends with Auntie were parties. Arriving at her apartment, we'd light candles, say a prayer and she'd cook. I'd play with a red, lacquered Chinese tea set (under her dining table, on the claw foot) preparing a meal for my dolls…carrot curls, radish flowers, olives, soup, salad, steak, potatoes, veggies and old-fashioned chocolate pudding.

She'd say, "A pinch of this and a cheese glass of that," as she created Bremen apple torte or Gesundheits kuchen.

Sometimes we'd see a movie or buy a new doll.

I was sad to leave.

When Dad died, Mom became ill. Auntie took two buses, bringing Mom chicken soup. When Mom died, Auntie became my second mom.

I knew her twice as long as my own parents, as she lived to be 97.

Later I had the opportunity to help, making sure she had chicken soup and moving her closer to my home her last year.

Auntie listened to hopes and dreams, always having a kind word, a smile and a chuckle. Sitting at her table now, in my own home, reminiscing about many meals we had at (and under) it, gives me a warm, loving feeling. My great-aunt's love to me and my family made me her honorary child.

I think of her every day, especially on Mother's Day!