Monday, 8 July 2019

Memories of my aunt

Thank you for the lovely comments, they do help.

My aunt was first diagnosed with MS when she was in her late 20s.  For the first few years she was reasonably well in between attacks, just as my sister is.  Even when she was having an attack, though, she wouldn't let it stop her doing anything, she just carried on regardless.  This meant she was a bit of a danger sometimes, both in housework and cooking (lots of things got dropped) and in just walking outside, so I spent even more time with her, to help her out.  When she was having a full blown attack, she had very little feeling in one, or sometimes both, hands/arms, and she walked with a pronounced limp, falling over a lot.  She made a big joke out of it and just laughed things off.

I well remember one was a Sunday lunchtime and we were going to bingo, she absolutely loved bingo and was quite lucky, she used to win quite often.  She was having a massive MS attack and could hardly stand, but still insisted on going, hence why I was going with her (I was about 18 at the time and not really into bingo, but if she wanted to go then I was going too, to make sure she actually got there alright!).  It was a walk and a bus ride away, the walk took us past a local pub, which was a bit rough.  When we got level with the pub, Sylvia, already very unsteady on her feet, suddenly slipped off the kerb and fell into the road - being a Sunday it was quiet and there was no traffic, thankfully.  She ended up lying on her back in the gutter - outside the open door of the pub.  We were both helpless with laughter, I couldn't help her up because I was laughing so much, I just managed to splutter at her "Get up you silly cow, everyone will think you're drunk!".  I did manage to get her up eventually, she was none the worse for it, and we carried on and got the bus to bingo.

I've already said she was lucky, often winning smallish sums, with the odd bigger one now and then, she also often won lots of prizes.  On one occasion she won an absolutely massive bright orange hairy teddy bear, it was literally as big as her.  She insisted I have it.  Well, there was no way we could get it home on the bus - the driver took one look and said 'you're not bringing that on here'.  So we had to take it home in a taxi, we had it sitting in between us, we were talking to it (we'd had several drinks in the bingo hall) and we laughed the whole way home.

Sylvia and her first husband had a very volatile relationship, they argued and fought like cat and dog but made up very quickly.  I remember one day when I was there, they had a humdinger of a row and he shoved her out the front door and locked it.  I went out the back door to join her, he locked that door behind me as well.  Sylvia promptly went to a neighbour's house and rang the police, who reluctantly came out.  They said they wouldn't get involved as it was 'just a domestic', but asked in whose name the house was, Sylvia replied both.  So the policeman said she had every right to get back in the house.  They stood in the front garden with me and watched as Sylvia picked up a concrete plant pot and literally threw it through the half-glazed front door!  The police, me, the neighbours who'd come out to watch, Sylvia and her husband all howled with laughter.

We did a lot of laughing together, so yes I have a wealth of happy memories of my lovely feisty aunt.


  1. Such wonderful memories! She would read this and cry with laughter with you all over again.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Lovely to have some happy memories. x

  3. It sounds to me as if your aunt gave you a lot of love, and you gave it right back, which is as it should be. Remember that she lives on in you, so keep the happy thoughts of her foremost, and remember she's not suffering now.


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