One of the most popular posts on my blog was one I wrote about my aunty: My Aunty Ba’s Pancakes. I’d written it from the heart, with a mixture of huge gratitude for the love my aunty has always shown me, and even greater disgust at myself for not returning that love by being absent and distant.
Well, I’m sorry to say I carried on the same, but now I have an update – I’ve been to see my Aunty Ba after almost 20 years! It was her 90th Birthday a few weeks ago and my brother and sisters and I all met in Ireland and took Ba out for lunch on the day.
Nothing could have prepared me for the emotions I felt when I saw my aunty after all these years. Just hearing her voice say my name, with all the love that has always been in that voice, was enough to set me off. No blame, no judgement, no harshness in that voice, just acceptance, kindness and a graciousness that is rare and beautiful.
Even though she can’t see so well at 90, and has lost some of her mobility and independence that kept her strong over the years, my aunty was content and accepting of her lot. It was lovely to see her so well respected and looked after by her neighbours, and to hear her say ‘I’ll live to 100 they look after me so well’.
I am so happy to have seen my Aunty Ba again, and I hope I will be there to help her celebrate her 100th. As in my previous post, I am eternally grateful to have had Ba’s presence in my life, and I draw sustenance and guidance from her spirit, and hope it will see me through to 100 years as well.
And I will of course think of Ba when I eat my pancakes tomorrow.