A Tribute to my Aunt (My other Mother)
Adele Haase Sorensen March 13, 1893 - October 14, 1975
This tribute is to my Aunt Adele, who was not only an Aunt
but was truly my "Other Mother", without detracting from my own mother. No, this
Aunt did not adopt me, not did she take care of me instead of my own mother, as sometimes
happens. She was just always "there" for me, and she made me feel so special.
Sorensen is her name. Some called her "Ada." Auntie Del is what I called her.
She was like my fairy godmother, and she often said she really was. Indeed, she had been
appointed as my "godmother." Speaking of "God," she was the one who
taught me my first prayers, and helped me to feel there really was that Somebody who heard
me and who cared for me like nobody else.
She taught me, "All things bright and beautiful, all
things great and small. All things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all."
marvelous imagination, she told me wonderful, original stories. Stories about brownies,
fairies, trees that talked, and little boys and gilrls with hopes and dreams much like my
own. Maybe that was her way of teaching me. She brought me cocoa in bed and told me story
after story, as I would beg her for "just one more, Please?" Sometimes she would
drift off to sleep in the middle of a sentence, but selfish little thing that I was, I
awakened her to hear the ending. She was so very patient with me.
She would take me downtown to the "Loop" in
Chicago on her day off. We had to take two streetcars and then the Elevated Train. If
there was enough money, we could go to the "show" which also had
"vaudeville," or get a hamburger and a shake at "Wimpy's" in the
Boston Store. When there was no cash, we would go to a parade, or just ride the
escalators. She sometimes carried me piggy-back on the long way home, if my 3-yearold legs
for me was "Winky." I'm not sure why. It had something to do with the way I had
looked up at her when I was first born, she said. She was the one who walked the floor
with me when I had colic. Although my Aunt literally adored and doted on me, she nover
tried to compete or go against my mother's wishes for me. She always stood with my mother
in any matter pertaining to me. She was careful to keep her own place in her relationship
with me, and asked for no more. She seemed content with that. She said she always knew,
somehow, that she would never have children of her own, but that I made up for it. She
said that I was everything to her and the main thing she lived for. She continued to say
this to me all her life.
Yet, what a rather sad commentary for a woman to have no
family or life of her own. I will always miss her, and remember her great spirit, and the
influence her selflessness had on me. When I see her in Heaven I am going to bring her a
nice tray of hot cocoa, and ask her to tell me one of her wonderful stories; and maybe
just one more, please? and then one more, until she falls asleep. This time, I will let
her rest for a while. I Love You, Auntie Del.
Your niece, your Godchild, your "Winky", and the
only daughter you ever had.