I'm having a very sad day today. I have said my final goodbyes to my Auntie Bettie. In previous posts I've called her Auntie Hettie as I always change people's names on my blog but now she has died I'll call her Auntie Bettie.
|Bettie and I on her 92nd birthday|
Bettie was my mum's little sister. There was an eight year age difference between them and Bettie spent a lot of her childhood being minded by Mother as Grandma was a very busy farmer's wife. Bettie was 15 when my parents were married and she was chief bridesmaid. There was a very special bond between Bettie and my sister who was born when Bettie was 18.
Bettie was the most wonderful aunt any child could hope for! She was a primary school teacher and enjoyed being with children but when she was with us she was such fun, taking us on picnics or visits to the seaside or Father Christmas. She had a skill which I have never known in anyone else - she could touch the end of her nose with her tongue! This would have us all in fits of laughter and I'll bet some people reading this can no more resist having a go than we could as children.
She didn't find romance herself until she was thirty six and she married Gordon. They had two children and her years as a wife and mum were for her the best years. Sadly the marriage lasted only twenty two years for Gordon died very suddenly when he was in his fifties leaving Bettie with a daughter away at college and a son still in his teens.
That was nearly forty years ago but Bettie has always been a well loved and respected member of the community here in Caistor. She was active in the British Legion and the Methodist chapel. She was a member of the Women's Institute and the (then) Women's Voluntary Service. It was because of Bettie that I came to live in Caistor - I wanted the opportunity for as wonderful a life as she was living.
Dying in a time of corona virus has meant that she has had very limited visitors and her care has fallen totally on her daughter who has been magnificent. Today just her son, her daughter and I joined the minister for a very quiet burial, nothing like the huge funeral there would have been in normal times but the streets were lined with people paying their respects.
I have been privileged to be her niece.