For the last few months, I’ve wanted to write about my Dad’s sister, my Aunt Kathy, or as my Dad called her Kath-a-leen. In the past, I’ve written about my Dad and his life growing up on the streets of NYC with his little sister in tow. Ultimately, they both ended up in foster care in upstate New York. They were placed in a home that my Grandmother believed would take care of them better than she could.
Unfortunately, the foster mother had a duplicitous personality. In front of my Grandmother, she was kind to my Dad and Aunt. When my Grandmother left, she was abusive to them and the other children in the home. At 16, after years of abuse, my Dad rebelled. He had enough. He was taken from the home, as was my Aunt. My Aunt sent to a loving home. My Dad to a farm for boys.
Neither of them blamed my Grandmother. I know my Dad would check on her to make sure she was okay and had every thing she needed. I believe she did what she thought was best. She believed that foster care would give my Dad and Aunt Kathy more than she could. My Grandmother was one of the kindest people I ever met. She was a very devout, proud, classy lady. Unfortunately, she trusted the wrong person.
The experience hardened my Dad. If you met him, he was the Archie Bunker of the ’70s and Gran Torino of the 2000s. Inside he was very kindhearted. He was very funny without even knowing he was. Most people didn’t give him a chance, including family. My Aunt, on the other hand, turned out to be one of the most loving, kind and sweetest people I know.
On more than one occasion, I have called my Aunt Kathy “Mom”. At first I thought she would be offended but she never said anything. Yesterday, I talked to her about it. She told me that she’s a Mom to whoever needs one. My Mom passed 8 years ago. I’ve missed calling someone that revered name. Now, I know it’s okay. I have more than an aunt. I have another Mom who loves me just as much.
We talked about how she and my Dad turned out so different from each other. This is what she told me. One night, as a little girl, she had a visitation from the Blessed Mother. The Blessed Mother told her that she was protecting her and that she would always be with her. She needn’t worry. After that day, no matter what she experienced, she knew she was protected and loved.
Her story reminded me of the song “Let It Be” by the Beatles written by Paul McCartney. Specifically, the lyrics:
“When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.”
Last week, a friend recommended that I watch the video of car ride karaoke with Paul McCartney and James Corden. In that video, I learned that Paul was referring to his mother, Mary, in the song. She appeared to him in a dream to let him know to take his worries and “Let It Be”. What a blessing!
Each and every day, we may be burdened by some sort of worry or concern – health, financial, etc. Some people may not believe that my “Mom” had a visitation from the Blessed Mother or that Paul McCartney’s Mom sent him a message through a dream but I do. It’s okay if you don’t. We all believe what we believe. I share with you a verse my friend sent me today to help me through a hard time. Another reminder:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”