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Have I Told You About My Aunt the Witch?

Once upon a time in a far-off land called New Jersey, a young girl was fortunate to have a middle-aged aunt who was a witch. She was neither a good witch nor a bad witch. She was like a real person only with magical powers.

She had the ability to cheer up people with just a well-placed comment or quip. She was not obsessed with her children--in fact she treated them like adults (which actually they were). She was a whiz at card games. She flirted with every man she could--the girl's mom even accused her sister (secretly) of trying to steal her husband while she was in the hospital recuperating from surgery. She rarely cooked. She had an extensive network of friends, preferring them to family members. And she had a tragic loss--her first husband died of heart ailments.

The above attributes only added to her mystique and intriguing personality. The young girl really liked her aunt, mostly because she was the only aunt her family was speaking to during her impressionable adolescent years. And, she was the only aunt who paid any attention to her whatsoever.While the young girl (if you guessed she's me, you're right) hungered for wonderful things to change her life, she purchased a ouija board and put it to constant use. She also used some type of device similar to a snow globe but instead of snowflakes you saw prophecies. Sometimes it revealed exciting things; other times it was a big flop.

So when the aunt volunteered to read the girl's fortune, using regular cards and not a tarot deck (I think), the young girl was happy. Surely the revelations would be momentous. After all her aunt was a witch. She had to be. She dressed eccentrically with clothes that appeared to be chosen from consignment stores or second-hand or costume racks, and she had the persona of a Mae West minus the blond hair and buxom frame.

The aunt was thin, hardly ate, drank coffee and smoked cigarettes nonstop and had flaming red hair that she dyed at whim. She was like an Auntie Mame character and if you haven't read the book of seen the show Mame, you are remiss. So run out and buy the book or watch the DVD. No one else in the girl's family did witchy things and looked this way, so the conclusion drawn was the aunt must be a mysterious creature born with super powers. Else she would fit in with the rest of her family. She'd gain weight, become depressed and ignore her niece. All the other aunts were doing that, so why not?

But in a world where charity and empathy are truly rare the aunt took her two favorite nieces to New York for a gala day. They saw a movie and dined on ice cream and non-nutritional foods. All in all it was a tour de force of a day. Everyone smiled and no one felt slighted.

Did I forget to tell you that the young girl's fortune (per the cards) was positive? Oh yes. Despite the anxiety and depression that the young girl experienced and despite her addiction to school studies and fear of being second rate, for those few minutes during and after the reading of her fortune, the young girl knew harmony, love and hope. Yes, hope. That was the best gift she received. And that hope took her very far--from NJ to AZ, where she grew stronger, then weaker, then stronger again.

And it was all because her aunt was a witch-
-a witch that cared about her niece's future in a dysfunctional family.
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