In my life, I have sixteen nieces and, as closely

as I can figure, twenty-three great or great-great nieces.

Not all of my nieces are closely involved in my life, however,

some of very near and dear to me.  They are, I believe, girls who were possibly intended to be daughters, and since they were unable to become a part of my family that way, they came into my life as nieces.

One of the oldest nieces is Cindy, who, although she is a part of my ex-husband’s family, has always been close to me.  As she grew up, I marveled a great deal how similar we were, in so many ways.

She wrote letters to me when she was a little girl and has continued throughout her life although generally speaking, emails have taken over letters–in-the-mail. Although we are not blood relatives, she is surely as near and dear to me as one of my own children.

Within my own family circle, the daughters of my brothers are all very dear to my heart and I enjoy a special relationship with them. I know that my sister, Becky, felt the same way about these young women as I did.

One year when my brother Bill’s three daughters were little girls, my sisters and I flew to Ohio to spend two weeks with his daughters while Bill took his wife to Holland for a vacation.  Despite some ups and downs of trying to keep a farm with horses, numerous cats and dogs, rabbits, chickens, ferrets and other  pets (plus three little girls) under control, we had the time of our lives and laughed about it for years after.

We–Becky, Susie & I, are the Aunties.  It’s a title we don’t take lightly; its a title to love and cherish and to be proud of wearing.

Sandra Lee Smith

First written February 5, 2010; updated June 23, 2018

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