Today my Aunt Audrey marked her centenary. A full hundred. I am delighted. And she remains a very classy looking dame, featuring the best looks of her parents, my beloved maternal grandparents.
Audrey is one of the first relatives of my recall. Her son Bruce is a year and half older than I am and he and I (by dint of age) became very close as children and remain friends to this day. And we played together happily. But Audrey was married to a kind of roustabout golf pro in those days so they ended up moving a lot and Bruce would go away and I wouldn’t see him for a while.
Later his sister Susan was born and she added a third member to my grandparents’ roster of grandkids. Many, many more were to follow.
But, this is about Audrey and her 10 (count ’em 10) decades on this planet and well-deserved they have been in my esteem. Audrey was unique in a family of seven kids in that she was the only child of fiercely Brit expat parents to have been born in the UK. That was due to the fact that my grandfather was wounded in the Trenches and my grandmother went back ‘home’ to see to him during his convalescence. She obviously saw to him well and ended up pregnant and giving birth in old Blighty.
There are many things I could write about my aunt, and aunt who once referred to me (and the sentiment flattered me a great deal) as her ‘other son’. It wouldn’t have flattered my own mother a lot since such a reference from her older sister seemed to cast aspersions on Mother’s maternal skills. About that I can only say, ‘if the shoe fits….’
Anyway, I thoroughly liked Audrey, always loved hanging out with her. She , was intelligent, well-read, humorous as only a girl who had a name but, for some reason known best to him, was never Audrey to her father, but ‘Rory’.
After a convoluted and distressing marriage finally ended, Audrey went back and got her degree in public health, and also married for a 2nd time to a wonderfully eccentric, and rivetingly intelligent man whom I got along with wall, albeit not everyone did. I was very pleased to attend that wedding.
That husband died a few years ago and Audrey was left alone but never lonely as she had not only her children but a goodly crew of grandchildren.
Bless you, Aunt Audrey, and long may you prosper. You have always had great value as a surrogate mom to me, and I love you dearly.