Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Bye Bye Betty.............




Hullo ma wee blog,

Do you know how, as a child,  sometimes you meet an adult someone in your life, a family friend, Mum or Dad of a pal, could be almost anyone really, but that someone, in some infinitely indescribable way makes a connection with you that up until then no other adult has. It's not a connection like you have with parents or aunts and uncles, it's not a connection like you make with teachers. It's not a physical attraction of male to female or anything like that.  It's a connection that makes you realise that for the first time someone is seeing you as you - as a person in your own right.

{sorry I don't think I'm describing this very well}

It's someone that doesn't relate to you by the connections you have to them but relates to the inner you and at the same time makes you realise that for the first time you are doing that too. Later in life of course it just happens, becomes the norm and isn't seen for the incredible thing it is, but that very first time it happened to me I was struck by how incredibly fantastic it made me feel.

The person who did this for me was Betty. A stunningly ordinary working housewife and Mum of a pal, she wasn't an incredible intellect, not a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist, but a stunningly simple and wise lady and a keen observer of people. Not a curtain twitcher or busybody, she accepted me as a rather awkward teenage mate of her son and took me into her family on any odd occasion I showed up without question, seamlessly fitting me into a niche within her world in such a way that I almost believe  there was a place laid for me at dinner or a spare bed ready just in case I ever made an appearance. I was, she related within about 10 minutes of arriving in her house to, 'call me Mum when your here'. What her husband thought I never found out. The rest of her children acted like it was the norm.

One day while there we started talking and she quietly, simply and completely stripped me to the core and laid my being out in front of us, rearranged a bit here and there and put me back together in a better way. All done in 10 minutes with a cup of tea in one hand and a home made scone in the other. Done completely without ego and with the utmost care and consideration. Gobsmackingly simple, stunningly accurate and blindingly correct in every aspect.

Last week I went to her funeral. I hadn't seen her for several years, not since her husbands funeral in fact. I'm really sad about that. I've been trying to think why that was the case but all I come up with are excuses, not explanations. I feel a bit ashamed if truth be told, especially after the way I was treated by her family for attending the funeral

Bye Betty. I'll never forget you.

Thank you.

See you later.

listening to Albinoni 'Adageo in E'

4 comments:

Morning's Minion said...

A wonderful tribute to this lady--and a very honest look at the regrets we sometimes have when we, for whatever reason, have let someone slip out of our life--probably unwittingly.
We are blessed by these rare persons, usually outside the circle of "blood" relatives, who see us clearly and yet kindly and make us welcome in their sphere.

Elizabeth Rhiannon said...

You were certainly blessed to know someone who 'knew you'. Not many people find that :)

Big Swifty said...

Yeah, great tribute Al. Tricky to articulate the feelings, but it rang true with me so you did a fine writing job. It got me thinking about my past, and people who have helped me along the way - some good memories, but they are people who have slipped out of my life many years ago. (whimsical sigh)

Alistair said...

Thanks for the comments. She was lovely....

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