I am lucky, I grew up with lots of aunts and uncles. Mum is the youngest of 8 and Dad was the eldest of 3. There were fun weekends with our many cousins at the beach, or on picnics beside mountain streams. I loved it.
My Aunty Rose died last week. She was 95. You could say she had a good innings. She was as lovely as the roses she grew in her garden.
Aunty Rose played the piano beautifully, she made the best cakes and they were served on pretty plates…afternoon tea at her place was great.
She married my mother’s brother, wonderful Uncle Bob, in the middle of WWII. He was away fighting for most of the war, in Palestine, Crete and New Guinea. He had a rotten time and rarely spoke of it. The first years of their marriage must have been extremely anxious for Aunty Rose. She did her bit by joining the land army.
She was always beautifully dressed and her lovely thick hair was never out of place even when it turned snowy white.
She loved her 2 daughters dearly. Sandra was born profoundly deaf and Aunty Rose was her best teacher. She taught her to speak and to lip read by spending hours practising every day. Sandra learned by watching her mother’s lips and feeling the vibrations on her throat. The fact that Sandra speaks so well is testament to her mother’s persistence and patience.
Of course, we thought nothing of the hardships she and Uncle Bob endured, they were just there with us for days of scouring the beach for treasures, or whirling us around to make us squeal with delight, or making cakes.
I feel very lucky that I knew Aunty Rose for 63 of her 95 years. I have only 2 aunties left, and only 1 uncle, all in their 80s. I hope they last at least as long as Aunty Rose.