Too Cute

It started as a bit of a joke, a compromise, a way to get 10-year-old to call his aunt, “aunt”. Sounds easy to you, probably because that’s the way things always were in your house, but it was a bit of a task for me because my aunt Cassandra was too young for me to call aunt anything. Up until that point in 1988, anyone I called “Aunt” was knocking on 50’s door, not 21 or 22. However, my mother had given birth to my sister, so things had to change a little bit. My sister’s relationship with my aunts would be different, so I had to set an example for her, so the change began…

Aunt Cassandra. Nope. Aunt Cas. Nah. Auntie Cassie. Uh-uh. Nothing seemed to work, it all felt uncomfortable, I was resigned to saying “Yall teach that little girl whatever you want, I’m not saying any that mess,” but I didn’t. I literally sat on the couch for hours trying to come up with something, when I remembered how she would scribble or stencil “Too Cute” over everything in her teen years, so I figured that was it. Eureka! Aunt Too Cute it would be. Wait, that’s too long, let’s go with Aunt T.C., it was said, it was written, and it was her.
Over the years it’s become Auntie C, partly because the origin was overlooked and people figured what that was what it was supposed to be, but she is still my Aunt T.C. It’s funny how our relationship has changed as she’s matured, taking on a more traditional role of an aunt, while my aunt Danielle, is still like my older sister, I guess the smaller age gap keeps that relationship the same. But my Auntie C has done more than fill in the blanks, been far more than a supplement, she’s been a rock. It goes beyond the great birthday and Christmas gifts; her greatest gifts have been the continued encouragement when I was 19, slowly losing sight of my goals and dreams. The books she continues to purchase to inspire me to act on my perceived gift of writing or taking me in for three years when I was too stubborn to move with my mother when she left our hometown of Plainfield.

It was during those years that I really got to know her differently, because she was getting to know herself differently as well. She had already been married to my Uncle Troy for ten years, but she was growing in God, they both were and their marriage was improving every day. The example of a loving, trusting marriage rooted in God and friendship was a template I couldn’t have paid for, but here I was, living under the same roof. At the time it didn’t matter, marriage wasn’t on my mind, but a few months from the alter; I vividly recall details of their relationship.
Unfortunately, my aunt never had children, so my sister and I, along with my cousin Jada have been the recipients of all of the love she possesses. I mentioned the gifts before, gift cards, bag of clothes, books, lunch, Laker tickets, whatever you enjoy, she gives. But what she really gives is herself and that’s more than enough for me. She’s been there for every important moment in my life and I love her for that, I’m pretty sure I don’t tell her enough, but I appreciate everything she’s done for me and love her dearly. I’m not sure where I would be without her, so Happy Mother’s Day Aunt Too Cute, I love you!

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