My favorite aunt, Beth, was on her way home from Florida. She decided to just "drop by" and see me!! You should have heard the screaming!! I can get really loud when I am excited.
You see, Beth and I have always been close. I don't really know why - I think she just joined the family at exactly the right moment for me. I was very very young still, and she was ready to love me. My other aunts already had kids of their own, so, although they loved me, they didn't have the time or energy for me that Beth had. Besides that, Beth and I shared a name. I was proudly Bethany, where she was only Beth, but still, it was very much a common bond.
I was a flower girl in her wedding, and worshiped my aunt from day one. When she had children of her own, they were almost exactly the same ages as my younger sisters, Kelsey and Mary, so visits to the cousins house were always pretty easy.
She was born and raised Catholic, and exposure to her slightly different way of viewing the world, in my sheltered protestant childhood, helped make me broader, and balanced.
When she found her birth family as an adult, while maintaining a wonderful relationship with her adopted (real) family, it reconfirmed to me my desire to adopt - and helped get rid of some of those fears that "someday my adopted kids will grow up and think I am not really their parent".
She has helped me define what I believe. She had helped make me who I am.
I love my Aunt Beth.
When my Uncle Dave divorced her just a few months after Andy and I got married, I sobbed like a baby. I ranted and raved, and seriously considered kicking him where the sun don't shine.
Then, I decided that Beth will always be my aunt, and my favorite one at that, (no offense to my other aunts!) because I choose to make her my aunt. She is in my heart, and that is where it matters.
Her visit was a wonderful surprise - I wish it hadn't been a surprise, so that I could have cleaned my house, and not had pre-deployment Camo gear all over everything. But it was still a wonderful surprise. Luckily, my aunt Beth loves me, even if my house is a mess! She stayed for a quick bite to eat, gave me some realtor advice so hopefully we can sell this house, then hit the road again. She wanted to get back home to her wonderful new hubby before Valentine's Day, and Indiana is a long way from where we live!
Aren't surprises fun?!