Do you remember this lovely lullaby? Whenever I hear it, it brings back so many memories of a beloved aunt. I adored my Aunt Chris. She was only ten years older than me and we were very close. As a child, I’d watch her get ready to go on dates and she’d let me try out her make-up, she’d style my hair, and later when I slipped into teenager-hood she gave me loads of advice about boys. When she married I was one of her bridesmaids (that’s me in the ankle socks – stylish, or what 🙂 ) and later became god-daughter to her two babies, who I also adored with a passion.
Her husband was in the military and when the babies were still little they were posted to Singapore. It was my first taste of grief. I remember waving them off in the taxi that would take them to the airport, then disappearing to my bedroom to cry my young heart out. I missed them so much. We wrote all the time, my Aunt Chris and I, but it wasn’t the same, of course.
I remember one night I was in the garden looking at the moon and feeling sad when my lovely dad came out and sat by me. We chatted for a while and then my dad reminded me that the very moon we were looking at was the same one my aunt and little cousins would be looking at, too. It’s strange how the simplest thing can make you feel better, because my dad reminding me of that brought my long-distance family closer.
When they came back to the UK we had the biggest party. My little god-daughters were school age by then and I was well into the dating scene. My aunt picked up the mantle as if she’d never been away and we were back to the make-up, hairstyling sessions and, of course, the tips about handling guys. A skilled dressmaker, Aunt Chris soon became really busy and much in demand to make the most amazing creations for people. One day this chap I’d had a crush on for forever asked me out. Of course, I didn’t have a thing to wear! I bemoaned the fact to my aunt and when I got home from work that night, excited to prepare for my date but still not sure what to wear, there was a gorgeous pink shift dress (mini of course, it was the late sixties) laid out on my bed, a replica of the very one I’d been drooling over in a magazine. She must have worked like blazes to make that for me, despite the fact she had such a busy schedule.
Sadly, my aunt died a few years after returning home to the UK. I still feel the closeness we shared and think of her often … every time I look up at the moon.