I’m lucky to have so much support as a writer. My readers are amazing and I appreciate every single one of them. My family and friends are wonderful too and always have my back, they understand how much I love writing, and I’m so grateful for their support. One regret I do have, is that the one person I wish could see and support me in all I do, is now no longer here.
My Aunt Gerry was an incredible woman. She had a heart of gold, was funny and worked as a model. I was in complete awe of her as a child. Gerry taught me to cook pasta with tomato sauce (and helped me cover up stains on a plush white carpet, after I spilt it, so that her boyfriend Pete didn’t see them). She snuck me into the cinema to watch films that weren’t of my age limit, meaning that she and Pete would have to sit with their hands over my ears or eyes dependant on what was happening on screen. She even bought me tortoise for my birthday once! She was so much fun, and I loved spending time with her, she was glamorous and lead an incredible life.
But then suddenly one day, she was gone.
I was only eleven years old when Gerry died. She was only twenty-seven years old. The loss was a huge shock, and completely unexepected and quite honestly I didn’t believe she was actually gone. Being so young I was unable to go to the funeral, so for many years I didn’t really understand what had happened. I thought she’d just gone away on one of her trips and hadn’t been able to contact us. I truly thought that she'd walk back though the door one day and everything would be the same as it always was, but it never happened. Gerry never came home.
The loss of my Aunt was the most traumatic event of my life and it affected me deeply. It took decades for me to finally come to terms with what had happened, but even today, it’s a loss that’s still hard to bear, and one that I’ll never quite get over.
I wish Gerry was still here. I miss her greatly., sometimes so much that it hurts and I still can't believe she's no longer here.
I wish she was here though so that I could show her what I’ve achieved, to show her that I did believe in myself, and to show her that I’ve stayed true to myself and done what I wanted to do; write my stories. But sadly, Gerry isn’t here, she’s a mere memory, and I’ll never be able to make her proud, or show her how hard I worked to make it happen. For me, this is the hardest thing about writing. To know that I can’t ever share my joy, hard work and success with her, and I wish I could. I know she would have loved every minute of my writing journey, and would have been so very proud of me and all that I’ve achieved.
I’m also grateful that I do have wonderful memories of my time with Gerry, and I treasure them. Despite her no longer being here with us, I’d like to think that she’s somehow looking down on me from wherever she may now be, giving me a big thumbs up, and pushing me to carry on, and because of that I keep writing and will always continue to do so.
In memory of Geraldine Betts, Aug 1957 to February 1985.
Gone but never forgotten.