Remembering Marjorie

Two years ago today my great Aunt Marjorie died in England. This woman did so much for so many people. She was that person who always sacrificed time and energy to help her “mates” and her family. She lived decades after her husband Frank passed away. She outlived her sister and her brother-in-law too and she cared for their grown son who had never learned to read, write or manage on his own and who never had a single kind word for her. She didn’t need to put up with that but she did.

Right up until cancer finally shut her system down, this elderly lady would walk blocks to deliver her nephew’s groceries, run his errands, cook his Christmas dinner and do his washing up – all this out of familial obligation and because there was no one else to care for him and he wouldn’t have hired home help come into his house. The day she called him up to tell him about her cancer diagnosis, he replied by asking her if she could bring some toilet bowl cleaner when she came up to visit him next. Lovely.

Marjorie was a lovely lady, soft spoken, sweet, full of stories and the kind of lady who always put lipstick on and dressed up before she left the house even if it was just to go shopping. When I last saw her, she took me to the cemetery and helped me find my grandparents’ grave. I couldn’t find it because the lettering had all been picked off of the gravestone by some horrible person. I consider that a form of grave robbing too.

I wish I’d been closer, geographically, to help Marjorie as her health deteriorated but I’m grateful she had loved ones who were there and able to help her and so today’s letter is for Marjorie’s niece Theresa and who was there through it all. Her selflessness as Marjorie was declining was particularly noteworthy because Theresa had lost both her parents and a good friend in the year and a half before Marjorie died. That’s a lot of sorrow in a short space of time. She deserves a lot more than a letter of thanks and remembrance.

And on that note…here is one of my favourite sad songs.