Monday, 21 November 2005

retrospective

aunty kateOn Saturday evening, we went out for a meal with Kate and Vic.

It was Aunty Kate's birthday back in August and a group of friends and family all went to a local Mediterranean restaurant for the evening - but B and I were on holiday, so we missed it.

Before we went went away, we wished her a happy birthday and a good evening out and she said that we would go out to the restaurant again, in September, after Kate and Vic had come back from their own holiday; but of course, she died while they were away, so it never happened.

When Kate and Vic came back to find her gone, true to form, Kate marched round to the respite care home and asked for a refund of a week and a half's worth of fees, as Aunty Kate had only been there for half the time they had paid for. At the time I was appalled - it was only ten days after she'd died - but now I am laughing about it as I type, and I am sure that Aunty Kate would be giggling, as well.

Kate said that she was going to spend some of the money on taking B and I out to the restaurant Aunty Kate had wanted to take us to, as she would have liked that.

So on Saturday night, that's what we did.

Kate gave me this photo, taken in the restaurant on Aunty Kate's birthday, about three weeks before she died.

I still miss her, but I am no longer mourning her, because I the happy memories I have - that we all have - are starting to replace the shock.

She has also given me a great gift.

Last year, when I was really unwell, Kate was very stressed herself and it really affected the relationship B and I had with her and Vic; to the extent that B was prepared to move away from the area so that we weren't obliged to have so much to do with them. I didn't really blog about it at the time, because it was way too close to home. Over the last eighteen-ish months though, the relationship has gradually been repairing itself.

Since all the trauma surrounding Aunty Kate passing on, there has been a really noticable shift in their attitude towards me. It wasn't that they didn't try to make me feel welcome before. It wasn't that they didn't see me as part of the family. I didn't even notice that there WAS a slight strain there occasionally.

But since they came back from holiday to find Aunty Kate dead and the funeral arranged and all the other things that had gone on, all the barriers have come down. They are treating me like a daughter and are obviously really, really grateful that I did what I did during that whole horrible time.

I don't think I did anything very out of the ordinary - someone had to take responsibility and I was the only person physically present to do so. Ipso facto, I did.

To them, it obviously meant a great deal and I am touched that such a happy thing has come out of such a sad time.

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