It was Aunt Ida’s magical food, something that I thought she invented for the longest time. It was magical because it made us both happy, even if Aunt Ida’s heart hurt or I felt gloomy.
Aunt Ida cranked her old can opener, slowly crunching the lid of the Chicken of the Sea can like she was playing a musical instrument.
She boiled two large eggs and peeled one small onion. Her bulging eyes filled with tears as she chopped, but it didn’t stop her. She put the diced onions into the large bowl with the tuna. She passed me a top-handle knife, and I chopped with both hands. Every so often, she added a glob of mayonnaise to make the tuna creamy.
"Watch your fingers," she reminded me with a smile.
She ran cold water over the hard-boiled eggs, removed the shells and added the eggs to my bowl. I continued to chop at a steady rate until my aunt said it was okay. Then she closed the lid of the mayonnaise jar, stepped back and proudly watched me whip it all into a delightful tuna lather. We patiently waited for the four fresh slices of Wonder Bread to pop up from the toaster.
As we ate the tuna fish sandwiches and drank our Coke, Aunt Ida said that she knew that she loved me ever since I was a baby. She said that I was so cute that she couldn’t stop holding me in her arms.
Aunt Ida put down her sandwich and grabbed her chest. It was her heart again. “Angina,” she called it and muttered some obscenity under her breath. She held onto the shaky table, placed a nitroglycerin tablet under her tongue and was quiet until she could catch her breath. She wiped the sweat from her forehead and straightened up.
“That was a close one,” she said with a smile.
She finished eating her tuna sandwich as if nothing were wrong. I was relieved that her heart didn’t hurt anymore. Although, I believed that it was the magical food and not the pill that made her feel better.