Family Down Under
Yesterday I received a sad phone call. My husband’s mother lives in Australia, and the nurse in her community phoned us to let us know that she passed away. She was just 75 years old. I knew her just 6 years, and I loved her very much.
Judith was about 4 foot 6 or so, but larger than life. With her flaming red hair and her perfect enunciation, she was a grande dame! She sang opera, loved the arts, music, worked as a designer when she was young, and lived a very cultured life, even when her home was in rural Australia. She surrounded herself with beauty – she was an expert gardener, and her blooms grew large and proud all around her place, boasting of their color and strength for all the neighbors to envy. In her backyard she grew herbs and vegetables for her own salads. She was very environmentally conscious, and she composted, and steadfastly preserved water.
Even in the garden, Judith was always dressed and accessorized like a perfect lady. She loved her jewelry, and designed many of her own pieces. She particularly prized her emeralds, as green was her absolute favorite color. She wore them all the time. As her arthritis got worse, it was more a matter of convenience not to unlatch the clasps.
Judith was the one who kept track of the family tree. She knew the associations and distant relatives on every branch. She had an amazing memory, and she loved to share stories. She had traveled extensively, and had a keen vision for politics to go along with her big heart.
There was a lot of pain in Judith’s life. She lost her daughter, Angeline, when Angeline was still a teenager. She lost her husband, and cared for her mother until her death. She loved her family, and gave her blessings to her son, my husband, when he moved halfway across the world to marry me. Now my husband, and his sister, and the 6 grandchildren Judith left behind, and all of her dear friends, will remember Judith as the great lady that she was. I will miss her.