One of the less pleasing aspects of getting older is that you get to go to more funerals than your younger self did. Well, Thursday was one of those days for me. Only this was one with a difference as it was for Rosemary, whose parents, my Aunt Doreen and Uncle Bill, themselves very special people, took me into their family when I was 9, about 18 months before Rose was born. So the irony is that the youngest out of the three of us, Mick, Rose and myself, and the one who never smoked or drank alcohol, died first, from cancer.
Now Rose was obviously special to her parents and Mick and me. She was also central to the life of her four boys, Alec, Neil, Sean and Jimmy; all now grown up, mostly with children of their own. Their mum was always there for them and gave them unconditional love, so it seems natural that that’s what they would do in response. Their love and respect for her was not just evident, it was palpable and beautiful to see. It reinforced your faith in human nature, something that is sorely needed in these trying times. This was manifested in the way this, not very tall woman, would look at these four men, who towered over her, when they were misbehaving. That look, given with much love, was complied with immediately. Furthermore, that love and respect was felt by everyone who met Rose, without exception.
Well, there’s now a hole in their lives which can, probably, never be filled completely. They will have to carry on, as they have done, passing those feelings and values onto their own families. Values that Rose, Mick and I got from Doreen and Bill. So, if you are judged by what you leave behind, Rose left riches beyond compare.
Rosemary Avery 27th January 1953 to 24 December 2017