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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.
     Adele Haase 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."
     Possessing a 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 gave out.
     Her nickname 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.

     Phyllis