Since I was the youngest of this wonderful family, I had a very different upbringing. I was 9 years old when Aunt Rae and Aunt Jean got married, and probably about l4 when Jesse, Morris Terry and Sarah got married (all in the same year). I was very close to my mother as a teenager, and helped her with the household chores. At the age of thirteen I was going to late session at the Lincoln annex , so I had time to do the laundry and hang it on the line before I had to get to school. I seemed to be very sensitive to how hard she was working since all the children were still at home (except for Rae and Jean).
There was so much cooking and cleaning , and washing the dishes was always my job since no one else would do it. During the war, Uncle Oscar was in service so I was the only one home. Of course, Aunt Terry moved back with us in Brighton because Sidney went into service. I really fell in love with cousin Larry - He was adorable .
Papa still had his pinochle games in the living room, and it was my job to make the Turkish coffee. I could never leave the house before making the coffee, but I surely tried.
I really felt like an only child since I wasn't part of the mainstream crowd . I really got to know my siblings better after I was married and had children.
Written March 9, 1999
A Story about Aunt Diane by Jean Colchamiro - February, 2009
A Story about Aunt Diane which contains the Memorial I read at Aunt Diane's Florida Memorial. The story has an ending which helps me cope better. I hope no one takes offense.
Once upon a time, Nona, having raised 9 children, decided to go back to school to learn. In her readings, Nona came upon a Greek mythological character, Diana, the huntress, and she decided to raise her last daughter Diana differently than the rest. After all, Diane would have to face a more modern world and she would have to be the strongest, bravest and the least sensitive. The world demanded it. Diane would be at the hub of modernization. She would still nurture, cook and love as deeply as Jesse, Rae, Jean, Terry, Morris, Sarah and Oscar, but she would have thicker skin, never mince words, and would be daring, decisive and courageous. BAKALASHAM. THIS IS HOW IT MUST BE.
The thread that weaves the fabric of Diana's character withstood the test of time; Diana was the first of the family to move to Yonkers( unheard of by the Brighton Beach clan); she was the first known female to challenge her father who wouldn't let her go to college, she was the first female to open her own business in the family, the first to add jeweled rooms to her homes and the list goes on....
(Memorial begins here)
What a family we have. The Warhit/Colchamiro clan. My father Morris gave me one biological mother Esther and five motherly Aunts and two fatherly Uncles as my life's gifts. To each of us DIANE WAS VERY SPECIAL.
Aunt Diane was very fond of her brother Morris. She embraced our family in what seemed to be weekly visits to 66 Barrington Road, Yonkers. I knew the way. We didn't need GPS. My brother Martin and I were excited and happy when we stopped for goodies to bring Aunt Diane at Andy Delicadandy. We knew we were near. I would long to see my baby cousins Ellen, Janice, Barry and later Paul. Aunt Diane gave me unconditional love and guidance throughout my life. I called her, visited her, loved her stories, enjoyed her delicious recipes, listened to her book reviews, saw shows with her and reveled in her love. After her visits, I would not only walk away with bubanza, baked squash but I would walk away inspired and stronger. I took her confidence, her decisiveness and became a stronger person that day and always. She was at my father's side when he passed away and in the last 15 years since his death, told me family stories which eased the great pain the the loss of my parents. She always told me her point o view and when she was brutally honest I could always accept her words because of the buffering of love it was built upon. I longed for her stories. About Ellen, Janice, Barry and Paul. About her siblings and her grandchildren. Her pride was abounding. She told personal stories about her childhood with Nona, Grandpa and of course, her husband Nat. She also took a special interest in my husband Jerry and gave me enormous comfort over the years.
As I think of the Muses I know Diana embodied the qualities of the huntress in Greek mythology. She was beautiful, earthy and had an incredible smile, punctuated with dimples. She was verbally skilled, walked proud and straight. An artesian in her cooking, she welcomed you with open arms. I always tell everyone about Aunt Diane who took pride in her role of being an Aunt. Her yearly June gatherings were legendary to all the cousins from the warmth of the most hospitable hostess, to the fun of the pool, the swims at the lake and the treat of seeing family movies in her basement. Her home was your home for the moments you were there. She was soooo real. Real in her confessions of her wish to go to college. Real in retelling me stories of her childhood. Real in her story of being teased for bringing Jesse the Hot Cow drink. Real in her shopping with Eve, Margo and Jackie. Real in her zest for bridge. Real in her passing on her strength to all of us.
I am eternally grateful for the gift of Aunt Diane. And I will remember her always. I will take her strength for the rest of my life. I will remember how she talked, cooked, entertained, lived and died. With great strength and courage. With determination. And I will remember how she did things in a grand way. Entertaining, traveling, donning jewelry, giving opinions and advice. And in a grand way, she exited the stage holding Ellen and Janice's hand with Paul and Barry flying in, with Jackie visiting her and knowing that her newest great grandchildren Zeke and Zoe were continuing the life's cycle .
(End of story)
Janice told me that she heard her mother saying, "What do I have to do, What do I have to do?" I believe she was talking to her brother Morris who said his Skymobile was waiting to take her to her husband, sisters and brothers. Nat missed his life partner. Murray wanted to consult with her re: his new business venture, Sidney wanted to "adjust her", and Uncle Jesse would love a hot cow. Morris needed her decorating touch in their cloud home. Rae, Esther Dotty, Terry and Sarah needed help with their cooking and a fourth for bridge. And Nona and Pop agreed to send her to Sky University. They all lived together. So Diana, the huntress, with artesian skill aimed her bow and hit the target and lifted herself to be with her family once again. BAKALASHAM