Yesterday evening I was privileged to attend a sixtieth birthday party for one of my Mum’s nearest and dearest friends. My Mum’s friend June has been in our lives for as long as I can remember and hearing everyone speak about the wonderful woman that she is last night made my heart want to sing. If there’s anyone that is sensational at sixty, June is.
Sometimes we go through difficult times and attend funerals for those that we have loved and lost, it’s often in these moments we realise we never really praised them while they were still alive. We have so many wonderful things to say but we regret not saying it to them when we had the chance. Also, you can find at weddings, funerals when eulogies and toasts are involved it’s very easy to focus on the good when everything is romanticised. No-one talks about their terrible attitude at times etc. Last night I realised though, Mum’s friend June just doesn’t have a bad side. To me she’s living proof that angels walk among us.
So, I just wanted to take the time out here on my blog to celebrate the life of June, who is absolutely sensational at sixty and one of the most amazing ladies I think I’ve ever been privileged to meet.
Kind and Generous
June is a beautiful, classy lady who has a velvet voice and is extremely well spoken. Being a Northerner and growing up in Chorley (of Peter Kay’s “Chorley Labour Club” infamy) meeting people who are so well spoken can seem daunting. My maid of honour Sophie is from Bath and when we first met I always felt like it was so obvious we were from two different class systems. Growing up knowing June that wasn’t the case for me because I never knew any different, but hearing some of her oldest, truest friends chat about meeting June last night made me realise this is how they felt at first too. That is until they focused on the words she spoke rather than how eloquently they were spoken. June is ALWAYS peaceful, kind, gracious, and generous in all her dealings.
When I talk about June being generous I mean that she extravagantly goes above and beyond in encouraging people. She is generous with her words, abundant in showing her love. Yet, she’s always dignified and graceful in all her ways.
One of her friends regaled us all with a funny story about when she was trying to quit smoking and June would send her cards encouraging her with “well done, I’m so proud of you, you can do this” messages inside. She said as she then inevitably would start again June would just lovingly reassure her that it was ok, she could try again. Everytime she quit smoking lo and behold another encouraging card would come through the door, stating how proud June was of her. Such a simple anecdote but it completely sums up June. She did manage to give up in the end but how many of us would still be sending cards by the fourth and fifth attempt? June was. Always faithful, always loving, always true. Never wavering in her belief in people and consistently showing up as her most sensational self day after day.
You may think reading this and not knowing this lady I’m chatting about, who I deem is sensational at sixty, fair enough, but I bet she’s had an easy life. It’s easy to be that way when life has dealt you an easy hand. This is not the case. June met her husband in the army and has been an army wife, raising children overseas and understandably known times of true loneliness. June has been through extremely difficult situations within her family. One thing you observe as a child of their friend, viewing things from the periphery, is that June knows a quiet but fierce determination of strength and belief in people. If she believes in a resolution, or redemption she will hold on with all that is within her until it becomes a reality. She fights for her family, but not with aggression, with an unshakeable faith that believes for the best.
June is not the sort of character to spill out all her woes to every man and his dog but there has been the odd time I’ve been privy to some of her difficulties and I have to say even in the face of hurt she never, ever gives up on people or speaks a bad word about them.
June is the sort of person I want to celebrate, as a wife, as a mum, as a grandma she is who you would aspire to be like. Alas, for this candid girl from the backstreets of Chorley, it’s probably not that attainable, but my gosh I’m feeling inspired to try.
Time After Time
After the speeches my sister sang a song and had me in tears as it was so appropriate:
“If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time”
Hearing account after account from her friendships that were mostly three decades long just showed what a faithful, beautiful lady she is. Also, seeing people walk in and out of my Mum’s life as we’ve been through hardships, there is one lady who has ALWAYS been there, stuck closer than a brother and that’s June.
So June I just want to honour you today and immortalise here on the internet for as long as this web server survives, you fabulous lady who I adore with every fibre of my being and I know I have probably taken for granted in my life. You indeed are sensational at sixty and an inspiration for women everwhere.
Happy Birthday princess.