There are three women named Angela in my life. The one still alive is in the center of this photo with her son. She was named after my grandmother, and there was an aunt who also bore the name.
This Angela is my goddaughter, a unique relationship as at her birth I vowed to be committed to her spiritual journey through her life. Which means, I really had no clue what that meant. I was 21 years old. But I have had marginal contact with her through the years of her life journey and there’s been lots of laughter and fun times. That means I am holding up my end of the vow because there is nothing more spiritual than laughter.
Angela is also my niece, as is the woman in the top right. This creates a confusion of relationships since both of these women have children which means I’m a “great-aunt” on a generational scale as well as being an aunt in the lives of these exceptional women. I do thrive on that “Aunt” energy and am tickled at the “great aunt” title.
This makes me want to explore my memories of my Aunt Angela, one of the toughest cookies in my heritage, and my own godmother. She didn’t have time to read books. A magazine was the most she could allow herself the time to read. My Aunt Angela was no-nonsense, chief cook and bottle washer. And yes, I understand those cliques don’t mean as much to my readers as the do to me.
But Angela is a derivative of Angel and this makes sense to me. My Angela grandmother was a widow with six children in 1929, at the age of 31. Her daughter Angela was nine when her daddy died and she became the responsible one for her younger brother (my daddy) and sister.
My grandmother Angela was a confectioner and her hand dipped chocolate candies were legendary. My godmother (Aunt) Angela’s stews and family meals were legendary as well as her desserts. They didn’t have appliances for their artistry as we do today.
If I do no more than instill the stories of these previous Angela’s on my amazing niece and “goddaughter,” I will have fulfilled my duties to that spiritual vow. What we do with it from that point is a new story, a new generation.
But, being me, I’ll do a bit more. It’s so damn fun.
My grandmother, Angela, and my Aunt Angela, brought amazing meals and desserts into my life. But they could also SING. Yeah, they had beautiful voices. And my goddaughter and niece Angela – well, she can DANCE.
She may be extremely successful in her career as a pharmaceutical rep but she’s also a wonderful dancer. The next generation always takes what was – to a higher level.