When I first started writing this blog, all those years ago, I wrote it with a few readers in mind. One person in particular I hoped read the posts, enjoyed my ruminations and perhaps gained her approval, was my Aunt. I actually don’t know how many posts she read. I will never find out now because she passed away last week and as often happens many questions will remain unasked and unanswered.
Let me tell you about my Aunt. I first met her when I was a little girl. She married my Uncle, resplendant in 80’s shoulder pads and a Princess Di hat with a veil. I thought her very cool and glamorous and no matter how hard I try to understand why I thought that, I cannot put my finger on it. Was it that she worked at a university when we first knew her so mixed with young people, that she wore short skirts and big hoop earrings, that she talked to us like we were grownups, that she shock horror, smoked? The whole package was very cool and added to all that she was smart, very smart. I discovered from her eulogy this week that as a young mum in the 70s she went back to college and took her A levels, followed by her Bachelors in English Lit and then her Masters. An unusual and brave feat in an era where woment stayed at home and kept house. She did this whilst bringing up her 2 small sons, for part of the time alone following the death of her husband.
By the time I met her she was finishing her Masters and was the only adult I knew who religiously kept a journal: ‘Dear Diary’ catalogued her experiences, current affairs and thoughts and she often turned to it in conversation to supplement memories or support her argument. I like to think that she did it to organise her thoughts and to practice the art of writing; in a life that was beset with tragedy I hope that it helped her.
My Uncle and her story was a love story in the truest sense, they were inseperable; fun, sociable and lived what appeared to be an idyllic life at the side of a small lake in a remote part of Wales. Our visits as teenagers and young adults were all about great food, plenty of wine, dog walks and high brow discussions over the weekend papers. His devastation at losing his love, after over 35 years of marriage, in old age and poor health is unfathomable. My thoughts have rarely strayed from him in recent days.
After 5 years of blog silence I am returning, in memory of my lovely Aunt, to re-find my writing ‘voice’ and this time it really is OK if nobody reads this. Like Dear Diary this is my form of therapy and will serve to act as a memorial to a truly wonderful lady, sadly missed.