I love my chats with Auntie Monica. She just seems to set me on the right course when we chat. I can be sinking in a sea of vague and she’s drag me out and prop me back off. It’s one of the truly great things about being raised by someone you’re not actually related to.
That probably needs an explanation. My Auntie Monica is not really my aunt. Monica took me in when I was six after my mother passed on. They were best friends and had been to school together, so it was a natural choice. I never knew my father of course. I know who he was. By which I mean, I have the first name of some guy from America. I know the story of their brief romance. I know that he left.
Monica is still my best friend. She’s the woman I trust above anyone else. Not only did she take me in but she taught me how to be me. How to be the woman I’ve become. She could have taught me less about drinking Jameson and snagging a handsome fella and more about finding some focus in my life. But it wasn’t that important growing up. And she has good advice now on the things that matter. Growing up I was always more interested in why than how. She encouraged that in me. To follow the path that the world threw up in front of me rather than carving out my own. Free spirited I guess you’d call it.
I miss seeing her every day. But we talk every week and she fills me in on the local Bunratty gossip. She’s always been quite the storyteller. Probably comes from working the bar at Durty Nelly’s. Funny how our local pub has become such a cliché around the world. I love her as much as I loved my mother. She made growing up without a family something I never had to experience. She is my family.