In 300 years, if you were to be named the patron saint of x, what would you like x to be? Place, activities, objects – all are fair game. Ben Huberman.
This time I’d like to remember my aunt who died this week at the age of 97. She always appeared dignified and saintly. She was my Mother’s sister. Lillian was married to a Baptist minister and so she moved about, which meant meeting new people. This didn’t come easily to her, though she tried vigilantly to mix and be the perfect mother and minister’s wife.
Staying with this family when I was young, I do remember being reprimanded for calling my uncle a parsnip. (Close to parson, I thought). My older brother had the wooden spoon broken on his leg when he misbehaved. Later when they moved to Adelaide, their younger son was found on the front verandah of the Manse with their neighbour, a little girl, both nude and covered in texta. Lillian took them inside and popped them in the bath and tried to remove the incriminating evidence. It was no laughing matter.
Lillian’s saintliness was her dedication to communication. She wrote every week to her parents and siblings. Later, I became part of this ritual. Birthdays were always remembered and she’d knit jumpers for our off spring. My children remember her with great affection.
Having considered Lillian for a Saint-hood, I think her sisters would also qualify. Mary the youngest remains positive at 89 and has enjoyed being a grandmother to eight grandchildren who all adored her. Meeting up is always such an uplifting experience. Her life has been one of service and dedication to family.
My Mother died at the age of 84. She didn’t want to be a burden and would have hated being dependent. Her life, too, was one dedicated to family and service to the community. She was a people person and at her funeral I heard all sorts of stories about the people she had helped. The church over flowed with people that loved her. She would have loved to know that the same week her sister died she had a new great grand son. Perhaps she does!
St. Brenda will be there to welcome St. Lillian, and they’ll eventually be there for their youngest sister, St. Mary. Their lives were unacknowledged in the larger scheme of things, but they will remain saints to me.