On Thanksgiving, my niece had a seizure and became non-responsive. She is a healthy young lady who had never had a seizure before. She was rushed to the hospital and the family followed, desperate to see if she’d respond to emergency efforts and, if so, what her brain functionality would be. Thankfully, she was revived, spent time in the ER and ICU, and is now home.
Those moments of not knowing her condition were horrible. My heart ached with the thought of what would happen if she didn’t wake up. She’s my sister’s child and though she’s all grown up, she’s still my little niece and I’m her “Auntie”.
It made me think about how special the relationship is between aunts and uncles and their nieces and nephews. I know many doting aunts and uncles that love their siblings kids like their own. They’re connected by an unbreakable bond that transcends generations and reaches down to their nieces kids and their nieces kids’ kids or their nephew’s children and their offspring.
They wouldn’t think of missing a holiday or birthday gift, graduation or recital and they keep many a secret from their siblings, on their nieces and nephews behalf. They know who their nieces’ crush is and are willing to play defense attorney when their nephew dents the car (or vice-versa). And if the unfortunate need should arise, most aunts and uncles would be the first to step in to raise their sibling’s children.
Aunts and uncles aren’t included in the bereavement policy list of “immediate family members” at most companies, but they should be. The legacy of love that aunts and uncles leave should be highly respected and time off should be granted for mourning their loss and for comforting parents who have then lost a sibling. I sure hope more companies see that some day.
Keep up the good love, aunties and uncles! Your family is blessed to have you!
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