Monday 20 January 2014

No blog name needed

Sometimes it's the easiest thing in the world to find a blog name for a person I want to write about. Since I started this blog, I've had to think up quite a few names. For people who're always in my life such as The Rents, Big Bro, SuperCathyFragileMystic, Fab Friend, The Singing Swede and Friend Who Knows Big Words to more fleeting visitors who get their blog names and lose them again just as quickly.

But tonight as I write this blog post, I realise that I don't have a blog name for someone who, when I was growing up was a massive part of my life. Someone who, until Friday, I couldn't quite imagine not being here.

And then on Friday she died. And I don't have a blog name for her.

So who was she?

Well, she was one of my ma's first work colleagues. They taught together and she knew both me and and Big Bro from the moment we first arrived in the world.

She lived down the road and drove a Morris Traveller that she still has now.

She always had a jar of Lime Marmalade in her fridge and I always had some when I was there, even though I didn't really like it. I just liked the idea of it.

The fridge was the ultimate toy in her house. It was giant and covered from top to bottom with fridge magnets that could be arranged by colour, size or animals all in a line, marching in a parade up and down around the other colourful plastic creations from all four corners of the world.

Her house was a fantastic place to play. There was a caravan in the front drive and in the back garden a giant sandpit that was once an outdoor pool. 

There was also a sunroom with a Russian doll that shed its layers bit by bit until only the tiniest dolly was left. As a kid, I was allowed to take it apart and line them all up on the window sill if I promised to make sure I didn't lose a single layer.

And there were always dogs. Labradors and retrievers. And puppies who were going to become guide dogs. 

Last summer I was lucky enough to see her and her husband when a visit to The Rents coincided with a visit from the two of them, too.

We went on a day trip to an airfield and watched the planes come in an out as I heard all about his amazing escapades as a cameraman, travelling the world.

When I started writing this, I was trying to work out what blog name she would have liked. Something to do with her involvement with The Guides? Her Morris Traveller? Her tireless work for Guide Dogs for the Blind? The lime marmalade? The fridge magnets?

And then I realised that perhaps she doesn't need a blog name. Perhaps she should just be here as Aunty Eileen, which is what she was to me. Or actually more of a surrogate grandma. Stern enough to make sure I wasn't going to draw on her walls in felt tip as a kid, practical enough that she could tell me to pull myself together, but a very good giver of hugs, too.

I'm so happy that I got to see her last year. So happy that I got to tell her some of my plans.

But I am sad too. Sad for Ooge – her fab husband who does get a blog name, her family and my ma.

My ma who I know if Aunty Eileen was here would give a firm hug to and tell us all to pull ourselves together.

She was practical like that.

So instead of being sad, I'm going buy some lime marmalade and rearrange London Aunt's fridge magnets and wave at the first Morris Traveller I see. 

Thanks for the memories Aunty Eileen. I'll miss you.



Emily Dame said...

So sorry for your loss. Aunty Eileen sounds like a wonderful person who will be greatly missed.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

She was the most amazing lady! I'm sure she is singing with the angels and organising the choir!!!
We will all miss her so much x

DeafGirly: How I feel about being deaf at work

It's been a whole year since I posted a blog on here. Life's been happening. And I guess I am no longer 'deaf in the city and ha...