My Aunt Jo is the coolest 64-year old I know. She read my rather morose post yesterday and rang me early this morning.
“You know, you don’t need to attend Mass every bloomin’ day of the week to be religious or spiritual,” she said. “If you want to pray under the trees, then do it. If you want to give thanks under the stars, then do it. Sitting in a Church listening to a priest pontificate for over an hour about mortal sin is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some of us wish we could stand in a field and feel the glory of God and we envy you your ability to do so. You are a spiritual person who puts into practice what you believe every day in the way you deal with other people. Your joy at life remains undiminished. You do not need a church and a priest and an altar to tell you the truth. You believe. You are a mix of Christian and Celt, reaching for daylight even when all around it is dark. I love you for that. It is who you are. You don’t need to change it.”
Oh, my dear Aunt Jo, you have blown me away.
I would like to post a photo of my Aunt to show you how lovely she is but she refuses to have her image on the world wide web net. Her friend, Esther, who is also in her early sixties joined an online dating agency six months ago and has been inundated with calls from would-be suitors. Esther is very glamorous and does look like Kim Novak, so it is no surprise to me that men are chomping at the bit to get to her, but Aunt Jo is insistent on remaining incognito. “As soon as my photo is posted, I’ll start to be stalked,” she says. “People are stalked all the time on the web net. It’s shocking.”
So, in lieu of a photo, I’d like to post a song for my dear Aunt from her favourite singer of all time. You’re immediately jumping to conclusions about her musical preferences, aren’t you? You’re thinking – Patti Page, Vic Damone, maybe some Ella.
Not even close. Aunt Jo’s favourite singer of all time is Billy Idol. Yes, I can’t believe it either, but there you have it. Billy Idol rules in Aunt Jo’s household. She can even curl her lip like him.
In the 1980s when I was still in my teens, Aunt Jo and I went to a Billy Idol concert. She wore ripped fishnet stockings, a tartan miniskirt with safety pins in it and a T-shirt that said Rebel Yell. I have never laughed so much in my life, particularly when during a break between songs, Aunt Jo called out: “I love you, Billy.” Billy was so quick, he spotted her in the crowd (we were in the third row) and crooned : “I love you too, darlin’.” For years that was the soundbyte to my Aunt’s life. “Billy loves me too….”
So for you Aunt Jo because I love you and because you are glorious and fabulous and give the best advice in the world; here he is, the one and the only……
And please, my dear Aunt, try and contain yourself. It is Easter Sunday after all!