Both Aunty Maureen and Uncle Bryan have featured in several blog posts here from informal impromptu gatherings, to birthdays, christenings and weddings. What you will not know is that they have been a major part of our lives for seventeen years.
We met at a series of church events and what followed was an encouragement to deepen our faith and our walk with God. We learned about the first Friday and Saturday devotions, Our Lady of Fatima, the visionaries of Garabandal and EWTN. Monday nights were a rosary Cenacle and Friday's, Divine Mercy Prayers. There was also a retreat day at Holywell shrine in Wales and a pilgrimage to Medugorje, Bosnia Herzegovina.
Aunty Maureen attended my first scan with Benedict and the late pregnancy one when they were worried about a possible health condition. She always had a set of rosary beads in her pocket and was a prolific prayer warrior. On the day of Benedict's birth they arrived just after six in the morning and helped with breakfast and the school run for Sara and college for Emma who was due to sit a psychology exam that very morning! They supported again when I was in labour with Pip and Aunty Maureen's soups kept us going for weeks after the birth :-)
They have prayed us through very difficult health problems from my recent hospital stays to a middle of the night dash when Dave had a grand mal seizure and Benedict was fifteen months old at the time. Their support was invaluable during some turbulent teenage years and the words of encouragement and a listening ear enabled us to weather the storms.
There have been fun times too, elderberry and red currant picking, barbecues and even parking our folding camper on their front drive for a trial run! We were welcomed into their home fondly referred to as the "club house" the following morning for coffee, porridge and toast.
Many tears have been shed this past weekend and no doubt they will continue to flow. I was blessed to spend some time with Aunty Mo just before she died and I know that through her intercessory prayers, I have been blessed in many ways this past weekend.
May Your eternal light truly shine on her Lord and may she rest in peace, Amen.