I Know I’m Your Favourite Niece, Admit It

May 1, 2022

We bring to you, letters written by women to women they love, miss, cherish or just remember. To celebrate the support women continue to show each other, this is #ToHER.

From:  The woman who thinks she’s the favourite niece

To: Meye, her best aunt

Dear Aunty Meye,

I want you to read this knowing how much I love you. Going months without talking to you because of a silly fight made me realise how much I need you in my life. It would kill me if I ever found out something happened to you in the middle of our pointless silence. But knowing us, it’ll probably happen again, so here’s a letter to remind you how much I love you, even when I ignore your calls.

One thing you always say to me is how alike we are, and maybe that’s what’s kept us connected for so long. When I was a kid, you understood my tantrums too well. You knew how to calm me down and get me to use my words rather than yell. There were times you’d spank me for those blow-ups, especially when we were in public, but you’d come back to hug me before I cried. I think that sums up our relationship; one minute you’re calling me your baby elephant, then we’re suddenly at war, and the next minute, we’re cuddled up again.

It was easy for anyone to think you were my mum because of how present you were in my life. My mum was your eldest sister, and you were 16, so you stayed with us after school to take care of me when she was away. On some days, you’d tell me you wish you had more time to be a teenager rather than my nanny. I know you never say it out of spite, but I hear you when you express how much time went by in your life.

RELATED: 8 Types of Nigerian Aunties You Know

My words can’t compensate for the time, but I want you to know you gave me love that I’ll always be grateful for. When people thought I talked too much, you listened to me. You answered a million questions I asked and waited for the multiple more I had. Thank you for singing to me when I couldn’t fall asleep at night. Now that I’m older, I know it was to distract me whenever my parents were fighting. Thank you for loving me like your child, Aunty Meye.

When I was 13 and you moved to Canada for school, I spent weeks adjusting to your absence. Nothing hurt more than the days I woke up needing encouragement when my parents fought. I needed your hugs. Still, thank you for being one phone call away no matter how busy you were. Going back to uni for another degree in your 30s must’ve been hard, but I’m proud you weren’t afraid to try. Thank you for encouraging me to get mine too, whenever you called — even though it led to our fight in March [2022].

I’m sorry for our stupid fight. We’d gone back and forth on moving to Canada for my master’s degree. You’ll never admit it, but I know it was also for us to be close to each other again. I wanted that too, but I just didn’t want Canada. I wasn’t even sure what I wanted. I just needed you to trust that I had it under control. But like an African aunty, you were worried about my future. 

RELATED: 15 Things Anyone With a Nigerian Aunty Will Understand Immediately

I understood you only wanted a better life for me. A soft life, actually. I was only angry you were acting like everyone else and hounding me about going to school. You’d call it tough love, but I expected you to be on my side. That’s why I ghosted you for months. I was hurt that you didn’t believe in me, and at the same time, I was sad that I’d disappointed you. 

When I found out you were sick, I knew the silence wasn’t worth it. I’d never forgive myself for not taking your calls or responding to your texts. I’d probably stare at them every day if you ended up gone. You are my favourite aunt, and I know I’ll always be your favourite niece. 

We’ll probably have another fight in about two months, but by then, I’ll be closer to Canada, so we can settle it in person. Until then, read this letter and admit that you missed my endless questions and gist.

With all my love,

Ebere

ALSO READ: 7 Types Of Nigerian Aunties At An Owambe

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