"I've been letting my mind wonder at night. My thoughts should have a curfew." Am Kidd

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My aunt, the birds, and other things...

There's one in most families. The "odd relative" the "black sheep" the "square peg." In ours it was the "eccentric" aunt. She was a beautiful, passionate woman who allowed no one tell her how to live her life. She was kind to a fault, humble, and funny. Her laughter was contagious, her comments were honest and at times crude (offending and shocking my mother's refined sensitivity). She never married, had many lovers and one daughter.  She was a woman ahead of her time.

During her most "wild" years she lived with eight dogs in a one bedroom apartment which luckily led to a back garden.  She was always full of hair and inevitably the "scent" of the dogs became her own. The dogs died and the passing of time made her even more "peculiar."  She moved farther away, slowly started to reject our company and became a recluse sharing her apartment with one dog she found on the street, a sick parrot previously owned by the local bar (hence, the obscene vocabulary) and a one-eyed cat. Her love for animals knew no boundries, especially the ones in need.  She'd spend her monthly pension mostly in food for her pets and hundreds of pigeons and birds that'd come to her balcony every day, much to the neighbors' dismay.

It was heartbreaking to drive up her street and see all the birds and pigeons standing there. Her true and faithful friends...the company she kept.

She passed away alone in her sleep and was found two days later. Afterwards, and for many, many  days, the birds returned to their usual place of gathering looking for their good, trusted friend.

As I take a walk in the park, I am moved to tears whenever I see someone feeding the birds and yet, I am also comforted to see that my beloved aunt's love for animals is carried on by a kindred spirit.

Note: Photo by The Guardian uk


  1. The eccentric person in our family is probably me! My eleven-year-old observed at the weekend 'We're 10% mad and Mum is off the scale'.
    Your aunt sounds so lovely and dotty. What a wonderful person to have in your memories. xx

  2. It sounds like your aunt was a truly beautiful and fantastic lady. x

  3. Is your aunt related to my family?
    She sounds very familiar to me...

    Lovely to meet you...I see that you have snaffled my button...so I will snitch yours too!

  4. Yes, the individual is often see as 'eccentric'; those who can't or do not conform to what society expects, her lifestyle does sound very bohemian and free, a caring person following her own destiny. Thank you Alina for sharing her story.

    Jeanne x

  5. Andi, "off the scale" sounds like lots of fun to me :0)

    Thank you Carol, she really was!

    Celia, great to meet you too. So glad you have snitched my button!

    Hello Jeanne, so very nice to have good friends willing to listen.

    Wishing everyone a beautiful day xx

  6. What a beautiful & moving story, your aunt sounds as though she was a true free spirit X

  7. Lovely to read this about your aunt Alina :-)


Albert Schweitzer said "In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit" I thank you all!