Thursday, February 10, 2011
My Aunty Margaret was called home to be with her Lord at the end of last month. She was in her 91st year.
Just a few weeks before she was ministering to someone in her parish, getting meals to them and looking after them.
When she was able she liked to attend week day Mass (always choosing the back pew for she was never one to put herself forward). She was an active member of the local Legion of Mary and other activities in her Parish and was "miffed" when she was put on the "emergency" list for handing out cups of tea etc after Sunday service. One of the things that upset her in her recent time in hospital was all the celebrations she would be unable to attend.I learned she was also a thespian in her spare time(did she have any!)
Life had not given my aunt an easy road to travel, nursing her mother-in-law in her early married life and then her husband until his death, leaving her a widow with four young children to raise. She worked hard and gave of herself generously.(and so often with a smile and a joke....and the best sponge cake i have ever eaten!).
To call her a great lady would be a massive understatement! She was the matriarch of her extended family in every positive aspect of that word! My daughter Hannah and I flew over to attend the funeral in Wellington. Sadly I did not get to see my aunt before she died but I certainly "saw" her in the testimony of her family and friends at the rosary and funeral . And because , for me, one of her best loved personality traits was her terrific sense of humor, I couldn't help feeling she was looking down on all these occasions, scoring our proficiency and quietly encouraging us to go that bit further.
During the rosary the night before the funeral it was wonderful to see her peers share (often with a tear) how much my aunt had meant to them. The morning of the funeral was ,even for Wellington, rather windy but that didn't stop the church being packed by people who had come to celebrate the life of their dear friend. Like many others I was touched to see the parish priest's voice quaver during one part of the service; yes you guessed it Margaret was not just a parishioner to him, but a dear friend. Many of my extended family sadly no longer practice their faith but I noted how this woman's faith started to break down even the most cynical reservations. They better watch out too for I know there is a "saint in making" praying for them, urging them on to be the best she would expect them to be. Aunty Margaret we will always remember you ,you will always be our matriarch, a "hard act to follow" but who would want to follow any other path.