Aunt Nina. How did Madeline become my Aunt Nina? Clearly Nina is not a derivation or nickname for Madeline. I have heard that Madeline would often say “I want my dinner” and it’s possible the word “nina” was substituted for “dinner”. Possible. My source for this information was Nana Cookie so I just can’t be sure.
I am sure that Aunt Nina was my idol when I was growing up. She would take me to the Cardinal Diner from time to time and I thought it was the greatest. She was kind and patient. It seemed to me that she was always smiling.
As I got older I Had fewer opportunities to be with Aunt Nina. We spent time together at holiday parties and summer visits to Montauk. Life took us in different directions but I still thought of Aunt Nina as kind, strong, and patient with the most unique sense of humor. She was quite lovely with a huge smile that made me feel so special.
I know how difficult it had to be for Aunt Nina to keep smiling as she worked so hard to create order out of chaos. She spent almost every moment of her childhood trying to survive the storm that raged around her and her siblings. She was a tiny woman but no one was fooled by her size. She was formidable. She was protective of her loved ones
Now the storm has passed. The sun is shining as brilliantly as your smile. You don’t have to look for shelter or try to create order anymore. You are home with your beloved Ken. I will look at the night sky from now on and I will find the brightest most brilliant star and I will know that is you smiling.
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