My Aunt Rosemay passed away this morning in Los Angeles, CA, and I am at a loss for words. I hadn’t seen her in decades, and we were never close, but she was family, and that is all that matters. There is not much I can tell you about Aunty Rosemay, but she taught me two very valuable lessons in my childhood that I always carry with me.
- Every woman should learn self-defence. A woman should never have to depend on a man to defend her, she claimed, and my mother seconded the motion. More importantly, a woman should be able to defend herself against any man, in any city, at any time of the day. A woman should be able to feel safe when she walks down the street in a creepy neighbourhood, knowing that she can run, kick or punch. So I learned to do all three.
- Always wear shoes that you can run in at night. Of all my aunts from my mother’s side of the family, Aunty Rosemay tended to dress down in the evenings, even if she was going on a date. If sneakers would not be tolerated or accepted at the venue, then loafers or some other footwear that could be considered flat enough to run in. She also added, however, that this did not mean that a woman had to ditch heels altogether. On the contrary – learn to run in those heels, she said. And learned I did.
It is strange that Death claimed Rosemay in October, the same month that her older sister, my mother, died. And on a day when I have incurred heavy losses in another manner. So yes, I am in mourning again.
Rest in peace, Aunty May.