Today, I was feeling very emotional. My cousin, Sue (Peters) was online and we started chatting. We obviously chatted about Dad which led to us chatting about Sue's Mother, Dad's sister and my sweet aunty.
I have many memories of Aunty Barbara. I believe the very first one I remember was when she lived in Morleys Villas, Sherburn Street, Hull England. I was one of those kids who did not like sleepovers. I really didn't. I was alright if my siblings were staying with me but if I was on my own, I just did not like them. I don't know how old I was exactly but one night I was staying with my cousin Paula at her house. We were playing games and watching TV all night which was fun, but oh dear when it was time for bed, I wasn't happy. Not because it was time for bed, but because this is when I REALLY missed my Mom and Dad and wanted to be home with them.
I told Uncle Gordon and Aunty Barbara I wanted to go home and they suggested I go to bed and I would feel better. Soooooo I did. Well in the early hours of the morning, I was homesick. (Never understood that word. Wouldn't it be more realistic to have the meaning of being sick of home?) I woke them up to tell them I really wanted to go home and guess what? Uncle Gordon had to get up and drive me home. Thankfully, he doesn't remember that night (I already reminded him of it on my last visit to England) My Mom always wondered how I would survive when I announced I was moving to the US given the fact of how I always cried for my Mom and Dad. (The last time I remember crying for them during a sleepover, I was FOURTEEN years old)
My Dad always spoke highly of his sister, Barbara. Dad used to play chess with Uncle Gordon and spent many hours thinking he was Kasperov (Worlds greatest chess player). He would tell me on many occasions that Aunty Barbara had made him wonderful food. We often joked with him and asked when he would be moving in.
More memories of my dear Aunt was when she worked at Crimlis (Fish and Chip Shop) on Holderness Road. We, as a family would often go into the shop for our lunch and it was always special when Aunty Barbara was working. We went to her house many times when she lived in Barnsley Street. Her house was always spic and span. (Clean and tidy) During our Summer vacation in 2007, I took Lance to introduce him to her and we had a very enjoyable afternoon. She remembered very well my night in Morleys Villas when I cried to go home and asked Lance if I had cried to come home yet. He told her: many times :)
When we found out that Aunty Barbara had been diagnosed with cancer, we were absolutely devastated. Mom and Dad were here visiting us in the US and I just remember my Dad saying, "Oh now it's Barbara". He often told me of his love for her and the memories he had. She really looked like her Mother and Dad said she really reminded him of her. It was so hard for us to deal with the fact that yet another one of our family members, our loved ones had been affected by this. Dad already had been diagnosed and knew too well what she would be going through.
I know many of my cousins, aunts and uncles don't believe in a life after this one. Some even believe they will never see their loved ones again. I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that one day we will be reunited with our loved ones. We will see them just as we saw them here except they will be pure and whole, with no sickness ailing them and we will live with them in a life that is much better than this one.
I know that when Aunty Barbara died she was reunited with her Mother and Father, her brothers Alan and Dave and her sisters, Janet and Joyce. She also was reunited with her great grand daughter Leah who died so young and was a very brave and wonderful girl. Why would we have all these special relationships with family members and friends and never see them again?
There is HOPE! There is life beyond the grave. I told Sue today that they will be having a party up there. I could just imagine Grandad to be whistling "Oh Danny Boy"......Uncle Alan playing the music, Uncle Dave telling the jokes and waiting for the day when their brother John joins them to tell Uncle Alan to turn the music down and Uncle Dave to sit down as the master of jokes has arrived :))
We love you Aunty Barbara!
"We love you Dad"