Thursday, 27 March 2014

Let's Sit and Have a Cup..


...a post to welcome you to ours, with thanks to the lovely Abi at Creating Paper Dreams, for urging us to put the kettle on.

I'm glad you dropped in today. I could do with the company.

The teachers in training. My aunt is in the middle at the front. Can you guess which one is my Mum? if you have seen pictures of The (Not So)Small one, her grand daughter, you might be able to work it out.. .

For although I've been distracting myself with new dresses and comfort sweet eating, the truth is round here we've been feeling sad. One of our favourite people in the whole world died almost two weeks ago, after a short illness and a long life well lived. You can see I have the old photos out; and I'm happy you bloggers, scrapbookers, memory keepers have come to call because you will all understand that flipping through the pictures and telling the stories is what I need right now.

Where do I start? I won't keep you too long. I know you have other places to visit today, but, if you don't mind, may I tell you a little? Talking is good.

She was our aunt, but she wasn't. She was my Mum's friend, from the moment they met, learning how to be teachers, right through the next sixty years. So she wasn't really our aunt, though that's what we called her: she was more than that. When we heard that she was gone, it fell to me to pass on the news, and everyone I spoke to said the same thing. She was the nicest person I'd ever met. At her funeral we heard about her achievements - a lifetime of service to the school she loved, through difficult years in a harsh part of town. She travelled, she created friendships with schools across the world, so that her girls would know more than the "Troubles" they were surrounded with every day where she taught. But through all of that, she kept on coming to see us, telling my Mum she made the best roast dinner, bringing exactly the right present at the right time. Little things in the middle of the big things. Endless patience, a ready chuckle, a way of speaking you could listen to all day. I keep reminding myself of her voice so I don't forget, someone in the family said. We loved to see her when we were little, and when our children were born, my two and Little E, she kept on coming, always with a special visit for each of their birthdays.

The mug is in the photo because she spotted I'd been given it as a Mothers Day present, once, and she thought it was funny. But now I think that mug is wrong. You don't need to be a Mum to be a Queen. She was the proof of that. This Sunday on Mothers Day we'll be rushing to spend time with a Mum who has lost her best friend and thinking about the best friend who spent her life making every child she met feel special..

..and that's what I'd tell you today, if you were here, letting me show you my photos. Auntie Eleanor loved to see new countries and meet people from all over the world. She believed in the power of education. A virtual tea party, organised by an inspiring student, would have been right up her street. So, stay for another quick cup and then I'll send you on your way. She wouldn't want us to stay sad for long. She's be asking what we had planned next. And if we had thought about this year's holiday. Mmm..

You can sit and have a cup with Abi, and find more places to visit, at Creating Paper Dreams today. Go on, give it a try! You never know who you might meet

30 comments:

helena said...

she sounds a wonderful lady

scrappyjacky said...

Such a lovely tribute to her,Sian.

Linda said...

sorry to hear about your 'aunt's' passing Sian. You've written about her beautifully, I can imagine her. ((HUGS)) to all of you.

Ruth said...

You know, the older I've got, the more I've realised people don't need to be related by DNA or marriage to be thought of as family. She sounds like a wonderful person and I'm so sorry for your loss.

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

Of Sian, I'm so sorry for your loss. You've written a wonderful and touching tribute to someone who was clearly a very special lady to many people over her long career, as well as your own family. You've made me think of my best friend too. We also met at teacher training college and have racked up 26 years of friendship so far.

debs14 said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. I remember we always called my Mum's bsst friend Auntie Hazel and I know my mum saw more of her than her real sisters. She sounds like a lovely lady who left a lot of people with a lot of happy memories.

Karen said...

What a beautiful tribute, Sian! I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, but I know she'll remain in your hearts.

Sandra said...

Oh I'm sorry to hear your sad news but you've given a beautiful tribute to your wonderful Aunt. Let's drink to her x

Louise said...

..and i wouldn't have left until i'd given you a big hug x x such a lovely description of your aunt, thinking of you all xx

Jo.C said...

Beautiful tribute, treasure those memories. Hugs from over here x

Abi said...

Oh Sian this is just beautiful. She sounds like a very special lady. Your love for her is so rich in these words. I would hug you and ask you to show me more pictures and tell a few more stories because I'm sure there are many. x

Jimjams said...

Aunt Eleanor sounds like a wonderful person - what a privilege to have been part of her "family".

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

What a sweet tribute to Eleanor, Sian. I'm so sorry for your loss, but so happy that you had the blessing of someone like her in your life. What a wonderful thing that will always be! Big hugs to you, my friend. xo

Amy said...

I agree entirely with Ruth - so sorry to hear of your loss, it is hard to come to terms with when someone has played such an important role in your life.

alexa said...

Your words are gentle and caring, Sian, and full of love for her - her legacy is alive and well :). I am sad it's been such a tough time, especially as you've been under the weather yourself. Hoping that there will be warmth and lightness in the air soon for you all at you get together at the weekend. Thinking of you as you head west :)...

Lisa said...

So sorry for your loss and thinking of you at this difficult time. I hope you find comfort in those loving memories you have of this special lady.

Ladkyis said...

what a wonderful person to carry in your heart. She has so obviously enriched the lives of everyone she met. Thank you for sharing a little of your memories of her.

Jo said...

She sounds like an amazing person, thank you for sharing her story x

Honoré said...

What a lovely tribute. Thank you for sharing this extraordinary person. She is a great role model.
Peace.

Cheri said...

What a wonderful thing that your Mum enjoyed such a beautiful friendship and that you benefited from it as well! Beautiful tribute Sian.

Missus Wookie said...

The best sort of testimony for someone is where everyone who hears or reads it wishes they'd known them. This definitely meets that requirement. So sorry for your family's loss. I'm with Ruth, family doesn't need to share genetics.

Miriam said...

This is such a beautiful tribute to your aunt Sian. I am so sorry for your loss. Sending warm thoughts to you.x

Jane said...

she sounds a lovely person who will always be remembered fondly x

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

I´ll put the kettle on and stay for a while. {big hug}

ally said...

you carry her always in your heart. sending hugs and a huge cuppa x

Maria Ontiveros said...

Oh, Sian, I would give you a hug and talk for hours about your Aunt if you'd like. Those types of relationships are so important to everyone. In the Mexican culture, there's a term called comadres and compadres (literally co-mothers and co-fathers). It's often used between a parent and her child's Godmother. Since my parents have been gone, the two remaining comadres and one remaining compadre from my parents' group have become all the more precious to us. Hugs and more hugs,
Rinda

Beverly said...

{{{Sian}}} I am so sorry for your loss but also delighted that you had such a wonderful woman in your life. I would be happy to sit with you for hours looking through photos and listening to my favorite storyteller.

tidbitsandtreasures2011 said...

You are sad, understandably so, but I have the sense that there are smiles, laughter even, mixed in with the tears. That you are celebrating how special your aunt was and the difference she made for so many others at the same time you are mourning her loss. I hope happy memories will soon overcome the grief you are feeling.

Sandie said...

I'm sorry for your loss Sian, and especially for your Mum. Auntie Eleanor sounds wonderful and I am sure her memory and what she has passed on with live with you all forever. It was nice you could be there for your Mum. Over the years my Mum has lost many old friends and her sadness is really felt. I always bring out photos too when I loose someone close. Beautiful story and post, big hug x

Gail said...

Oh Sian, I'm so sorry for your loss. We called my Mum's 2 best friends Aunt and were closer to them than some of our "real" aunts. She sounds like a wonderful lady. Hugs.

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