One Special Aunt This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Brave, smart, compassionate and loving are just a few of the words that describe my hero. No, she isn’t a movie star or a musical legend, and hasn’t even heard of Third Eye Blind, but she is, in every respect, amazing.

My hero is my aunt Anna Louise. She always treats everyone with respect and does everything in her power to help others. From volunteering at church to making sure none of her nieces and nephews miss an appointment, practice or rehearsal, she always has time to do things for others.

Anna Louise has inspired me since I was a small child, always pushing me to try new things and do my best. She introduced me to singing at age five by enrolling me in our church’s youth choir. Every Wednesday evening for six years she would pick me up for choir practice. Afterward we would get ice cream cones and have a contest to see who still had theirs by the time we got to my house.

She took me to plays at a local theater. When I was nine I told her how much I enjoyed them, and she suggested I audition for the upcoming production of “The Sound of Music.” I did, and got the part of Kurt von Trapp. Almost every night I had two-hour rehearsals, and Aunt Anna Louise would drive 72 miles every night just because she knew I enjoyed acting.

Things like this make me realize how much she loves me and how much joy she gets out of seeing me happy. I have been in two other plays and she again was my transportation. I plan to major in music and minor in acting when I go to college.

Aunt Anna Louise has always helped me do things she knew I would love. She sent me to camp in third grade and now I am a counselor because I want other children to love camp and have as much fun as I did. In sixth grade I wanted to be in band, but my parents could not afford to rent me an instrument. Anna Louise bought my first flute, and for my last birthday bought me a new one.

To Anna Louise, things happen for a reason and the unexplainable, no matter how horrible, has a purpose. Two years ago her husband, Robert “Butch” Maurer, had a sore on his foot that would not go away. A doctor said he had blood poisoning and hospitalized him on a Thursday. We visited him Saturday and he was so weak he could barely move. The next morning the hospital called to tell us he was in Intensive Care and slipping away. We rushed to the hospital, but were just too late. As the doctor came to talk to us, I let out wails and uncontrollable sobs, while Aunt Anna Louise maintained her composure and talked to the doctor. I have no idea how she was so brave, but at that moment I knew she was the most courageous person on Earth and that I wanted to be like her.

Uncle Butch died on Father’s Day, the day I was supposed to leave for church camp. I thought I needed to stay home and help my aunt, but she insisted I go. She knows me too well; if I’d stayed I would have broken down at his funeral and wouldn’t have been able to control myself.

My aunt Anna Louise may not be famous or have written an award-winning novel, but that doesn’t matter to me. In my eyes she is the most wonderful person in the world. I love her and hope that when I have nieces and nephews, I can be as much of an inspiration to them as she has been to me.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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