Saturday, 12 December 2009

Roslyn Elizabeth

Last Saturday, as I thought about the Sepia Saturday idea, I was wishing that Aunty Ros was still about and though the photo is far from sepia I doubt I can continue with the theme without reference to Ruby's daughter. Look at those eyes.
I don't know a whole lot of Dad's family stories but I know that Aunty Ros liked to tell them. Rozzy, as she liked to call herself, and I got along well and she would have loved to tell me lots of stories but instead we talked of work and children and current family stuff. I didn't ask much about the things she remembered.
I have an idea this photo might have been a 21st birthday souvenir, which would place it at 1965. I don't remember Rozzy looking anything like this, my Ros was ravaged by asthma and in turn steroid drugs, heart disease, diabetes and leg amputations.
Rozzy was a bit eccentric and we shared a crazy almost compulsive love of cookbooks.
A Women's Weekly recipe for a ginger and carrot loaf was Aunty Ros' signature dish and even when she was very ill she would pour love into making them for her Uncle (my great uncle) Harold. He would delightedly scoff the whole thing in a sitting or two and she would complain of his outrageous behaviour. I will never forget being at her place once and finding greased and papered loaf tins waiting in the fridge for the time when she had energy to actually make the loaves. It took true determination for her to persist with the project when she was so terribly compromised but she did it with grace and that was how she lived most of the time: one foot slowly, painfully, determinedly in front of the other.
I took Rozzy home after my brother's wedding and she gave me a couple of pieces of jewellery. When she got to the third I told her enough was enough, she said she would leave a note in the box bequeathing it to me. I laughed and told her that I would see her again. Only weeks later one final asthma attack took her away and I can't even remember what it was she had planned to give me.


  1. What wonderful memories. Many families must have has an Aunty Ros in them - I know we had (Aunty Annie). They were the store of family tales, the people who left a magical legacy of shared memories. Thanks for joining in Sepia Saturday again and thanks for sharing Aunty Ros.

  2. This triggers a wave of memories in me. I'll leave it at that, for now. So often we forget them. I'd love to be in on some of the family secrets that were taken to their final resting place...ahem, quite.

    And intersting new header :)

  3. Well she had a lot of love in her to give and it's great that you can share that with us. Very sad that she was taken away so suddenly.

  4. Sad that she was so ill and everyday life became such a struggle for her. The cards we are dealt in life are given out so unfairly. Uncle Harold was obviously very keen on his ginger and carrot loaf!

  5. I hate to hear of the ravishes of disease. I love her grace in dealing with her situation. Rozzy sounds like a delightful woman. Wonderful photo.

  6. That bit about the pans in the fridge really got me. REALLY got me.

    Lovely photo and lovely lady, outside and in!

  7. Oh, I'm with Megan. Your reminiscences brought me near tears. This is just a beautiful, poignant post.

  8. I think I can see a resemblance between the two of you.

  9. I would have taken the jewelry when it was offered, but I admire you for not being so self-serving. Of course, she knew she was dying, and you weren't ready to accept it. Given that, I guess I would have done as you did.

    I'm sorry you lost her. If she had lived, she would only be 65. When you're my age--60--that doesn't seem very old at all.

  10. alan,
    i probably never would have blogged family stuff if it weren't for the inspiration of sepia saturday, so thanks!

  11. subby,
    i was just thinking how family secrets are a source of shame to the people involved but a generation or two down the track it's valuable colour :)

    the header is temporary

  12. cinnamon,
    yes, she had a lot of love and her death was premature but not totally unexpected. we all knew she could go any time, funny thing was she died in hospital on the day she was to be discharged after a relatively minor infection.

  13. nick,
    the cards are unfair but it's all in the way theyre played.
    uncle harold loves all things fruit: plum pudding, mince pies, fruit cake......

  14. betsy,
    yes, she is

    thanks for dropping by again

  15. willow, thanks for dropping by!
    disease does awful things but none of us will get through life untouched so i guess it's something to learn to deal with :)

  16. megan,
    amazing, isnt it? to think that she could do just the tins and be exhausted. how much grit it must have taken to get out of bed each day......

  17. jo,
    no-one has ever mentioned a resemblance but of course people see different things depending on who they know and how well. maybe around the mouth?

  18. snow!
    how goes it?
    no, i didnt want her to go. i remember one time she had a close call, the family were called and so on, but she pulled through. it really shook me. when she actually died it was a bit of a blank, nothing like what i expected

  19. and snow, she was days short of 60. not old at all

  20. kylie, "valuable colour"...interesting way of looking at that. I'm still trying to wean info out of one of me aunties, I am!

  21. I never would have imagined that this was aunty ros.

    You are like her in craziness :)

  22. Very sad, keep your head up Kylie and keep flashing that smile!

  23. Kia ora Kylie,
    There is a sparkle and a lot of love in those eyes - and in the memories you share she lives lives on. Kia kaha - and Happy Yuletide Kylie to you and yours.

  24. Dear Kyles,
    Hope you having a beautiful day!
    loving the new look and this beautiful post..
    ♥ & ((hugs))

  25. A very nice memory of your Aunt, and she was a lovely woman inside and out. Your post was beautiful and poignant. Thanks for sharing.

  26. paul wyn,
    g'day! can i ask how you got here?

  27. robb,
    thanks for dropping by.


  28. bindi!

    i hope youre having a nice cup of tea :)

  29. mr shife,
    thank you

    your latest post is rather lovely, too

    best wishes to ya

  30. Ros was like our mother in many ways but also very much like our maternal grandmother. Grandma was the daughter of a Royal Navy rating who decided he liked Sydney more than the RN and left without permission!


go on, leave a comment or four.