Hey Ragers and Ragettes. I know I posted yesterday but I was given news about something from my family and it has been rattling around my head for the last 24 hours.
I received news that there was a death back home in the town where I was raised. Her name was Anne. (I am going to give her the dignity of using just her first name) When Mama Rage told me, I burst into tears.
Why you may ask.
Anne was a lovely woman. She was very active in the church and in the community. And twice in my life, she acted as a glowing light when I felt sad.
The first time I met Anne was when I was in Girl Scouts. I was only 8 years old. My troop was lead by the mom of a girl that was in my class. They didn’t have loads of money and the troop leader used to be bully me because she perceived that my family was rich (my family weren't rich!! My mama made the best of everything that she had.) and the fact that my family were foreign. I hated going to Girl Scouts meetings.
I would be polite (as I was taught from my parents) and ask if she needed help with anything and she would retort, imitating my Mama's accent, I don’t want you to get your princess hands dirty, darling. On Girl Scouts trips, she would be little me in front of everyone. I would get blamed for everything that went wrong.
I remember one trip we had to do as a troop. I didn’t want to go. My mama had to pull me out of my bedroom and get me into the car. I remember crying that I didn’t want to go.
When we pulled up to the troop leader's home, she was sat outside along with Anne. Anne introduced herself and said that she was the troop leader’s cousin and that she was chaperoning this trip. She saw my tear stained face and asked me my name. Well on that trip, Anne stayed next to me. When we were driving to the activity Anne picked me, my 2 friends from my class and 2 other girls that I got along with ok to go in her car.
Anne let me sit in the passenger seat of her car. She chatted to me, asked me about my family. She listened. She told me about her cats and how she volunteers at the local soup kitchen at the weekend. She had an infectious laugh that made everyone laugh too.
During the trip, I stayed next to her and the troop leader didn’t say one nasty word to me. Anne protected me. Anne made a point of being kind and treating me with respect. She was straight and to the point, no messing about.
Our paths didn’t cross again until 8 years later.
My parents decided to switch churches because the choir director (My mama and I used to sing in the choir and I would sometimes play the piano) made some inappropriate comments to me (It came out later that he was caught pants down balls deep into a 12 year old girl. I had a near miss on that one!)
The new church was on the older part of town. The houses weren’t brightly painted like in the old church neighbourhood. The congregation was older. They weren’t wearing the latest clothes.
Of course Mama signed us up for the choir. I remember our first choir practice. I walked in, and who should catch my eye? Anne.
I don’t if she recognised me but that same warm smile greeted my Mama and me. She walked over and asked us what we sang.
Mama proudly said Betty and I sing alto.
Anne replied, well so do I.
Anne helped us get our music and the music that we didn’t have, she offered to lend my mama and I her copy. She would share off of someone else. She stood next as we sang. After a few pieces of music, she winked at me and said, I’m standing next to you because you sing the notes perfectly.
When I was 16, I was going through so much shit. Regular turbulent high school shit but also I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Most days I didn’t want to get out of bed and face the world. My relationship with my parents were at an all time low.
I would burst into tears at weird times, once I burst into tears at church. Anne, saw what happened, guided me into the bathroom. She didn’t ask if I was ok (I was sick and tired of people asking me if I was ok) she handed me some tissues and let me cry. She hugged me and said, let’s go back and sing.
To most people these would just be little moments in life that were everyday occurrences. But at times of sadness, Anne was there.
Mama yesterday told me that Anne not only was kind to me, but she often went without to help others. She would give her car to someone who needed it, and would walk 3 miles in the rain to church.
Anne volunteered for St Vincent De Paul society. She visited the sick and the lonely. She had a job as a teacher but had very little time to herself, to the detriment of her health.
She has a big family and my Mama told me that she would call them asking to look in on Anne and see if she was ok. I got the impression that Anne’s family weren’t too helpful.
I wept yesterday, Ragers and Ragettes, because in Anne’s death, the world lost a selfless, loving, caring woman. Yes, those small moments in my life where she shone her light may seem small but they were in reality huge beacons of light in a dark world. She made me feel human in those times.
In this day in age, people like Anne are a rarity. Giving of their time and the little that they have to help strangers. Truly selfless, good people.
I don’t understand why God decided to take Anne and let the scumbags of this world live. I have questioned my faith many times. I call myself agnostic now because of shit like this. Why take someone as loving and wonderful as Anne away from the world? Why does he let the drug dealers, child abusers, rapists and murderers live?
I don’t know the answer but all I know is last night there was a new and very bright star in the sky.
RIP, Anne. Thank you for teaching us kindness, selflessness and love. You will be missed.
Lots of Love
The Fabulous Betty Rage xxxxx