27 February 2007

Sad news

On returning from the Blue Mountains we learned that Aunty Bette had died last Friday, John is going to the funeral on Wednesday, we will miss her, and know that she is in a better place.

I met Aunty Bette around 16 years ago and she was a very special lady. Unlike the majority of her generation, Bette worked most of her young life, in the army and after the war she moved to Sydney and worked in David Jones. She had a flat and travelled to work each day on the ferry. It was while at David Jones that Aunty Bette met Ern Armstrong. Bette married Uncle Ern around her 40th year and proceeded to look after him in every way. Although she and Ern never had children, they spent a lot of time with JSR's family, helping out with the kids. Aunty Bette was JSR's godmother. When Barb and Al went on a cruise together, it was Aunty Bette who came and looked after the kids. It was Aunty Bette who enabled JSR to buy his first car, a landcruiser.

After her marriage Bette travelled extensively both in Australia and overseas. She travelled to Italy and Japan, among other places. Unfortunately Ern died in the 1970's, long before I met Bette. In 1991 she and her good friend Pat came and visited us here in Monash on one of their many bus trips. In 1993 Bette and Pat attended our wedding in Sydney. When looking at our wedding wish list I heard that she thought it was all too practical and went and bought us a Stewart Crystal decanter, which is beautiful. It is also a reflection of JSR's Stewart heritage.

As the quote below puts it, Aunty Bette had a full and happy life, surrounded by loving friends and family and she is now at peace from the troubles that distressed her in the past few years. We will miss her.

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well used brings happy death. ~Leonardo da Vinci

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