Tuesday 14 December 2010

Tuesday evening

. . . and yes, it was a long and wearisome day indeed, one way and another. But the children gave another lovely show, despite their obvious tiredness, the parents loved it and now it is all over. Whoops-A-Daisy Angel's mum gave me a lovely bunch of roses yesterday evening after the show and tonight, at the end of the show, the head presented me with a beautiful Christmas arrangement from Beehive Florists, our fairly local and 'artistic' florist shop, with a delightful accompanying note. It was nice, but a wee bit embarrassing because it truly was a team effort and everyone on the team worked hard, but I wasn't going to say 'no, thank you' now was I? Those two presentations, plus the lovely yellow roses a couple of friends gave me at the Chinese and Chat means that my living room is a veritable bower at the moment.

Today was made sadder by the news, sent to me by email, that my dear Aunty May died at some point last night. She was 97, tired of life and ready to 'go home', as she expressed it and I am not sad for her, but I am very sad for us. Her Christmas card sits on my table, ready to post, and she won't see it. I feel for my Mum and Dad. They have been friends indeed, looking out for her for many a long day now, visiting regularly and frequently, caring for her in many different ways. It was only a fortnight ago that my mum washed and named all May's clothes in preparation for her move from her sheltered accommodation to the nursing home that was to be her last earthy home.

I remember a time when I was eighteen. We had just moved back to England from Belfast. I had finished A levels and was looking forward, assuming one A level pass, to start at Southlands College of Education in September to do my Cert. Ed. and become a primary teacher. The house my parents were buying was not finished so we spent the summer at Kettering, where the whole of May's generation were based, living with my Nanna and Grampy. May and her husband, Bill, were very kind to me. We shared a passion for 'classical' music, and they took me round to a friend's for a couple of evenings of sheer delight listening to classical records and talking about them. I was emotionally wobbly at that time - I'd left some wonderful friends behind in Belfast plus a school I loved - and May and Bill's kindnesses helped to ground me. It was a lovely summer and I appreciate those memories.

Rest in peace, dear Aunty, we will not forget you.

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