Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Dorothy Rathbone

Margaret Dorothy Rathbone

Margaret Dorothy Rathbone (born Mortinson, formerly van Vliet) was my father's sister. They were close when they were young and this closeness extended to adulthood when my father married my mother and Dorothy married my mother's brother, Beric. 

The family were devastated when Beric died in his late 20's-  their daughter Jenny was only 2 years old and Dorothy was expecting Beric Jnr.

Some years later, Dorothy met up with and married Derek Rathbone, a childhood friend.  Derek was also a very close friend of my father. My father lived with Derek's family for some years when he was a young man. He used to tell us stories of life with the Rathbone family and how they treated him as one of their own. Derek had two children, Patrick and Jennifer, from his first marriage. Dorothy and Derek went on to have a further three children, Norman, Aileen and Colleen. Sadly Norman died in an accident.

The closeness between my dad and his sister continued, right up until his death.  Dorothy gave a moving eulogy at my dad's memorial service and I believe that, had my dad survived Dorothy, his eulogy would have been just as moving.  He loved his sister dearly and he would have been devastated by her death.

Aunty Dorothy was a very special lady. My memories of her are a house filled with children and laughter (she had beautiful laughing eyes, happily inherited by her daughters). She loved her family, music and art. Incidentally, when I was learning shorthand typing I was amazed by her secretarial skills and I still have a Pitman's Shorthand dictionary which she gave me.

Our family have suffered the loss of many of our "older" generation over the past few years.  My father, my mother, Uncle David (my mother's brother), Uncle Derek (Dorothy's much loved husband), Aunty Dorothy and, on Christmas Day, my mother's sister, Joan also died.

As the generation of our family who were born in the 1920's and 30's pass on so we, who were born in 1940's, 50's and 60's, are becoming the "older" generation. When I look at the calibre of those who came before us I can only hope that we have enough strength of character, talent and kindness to inspire our children just as we have been inspired. Striving to be good enough to honour our parents and grandparents in this way will be our greatest tribute to their memory.

The following are the moving eulogies given by Aunty Dorothy's family at her Memorial Service which show the deep impact she had on their lives. 

From Colleen

Today, I want to share with you a message that I believe has been sent to us by our guardian angels in the form of numbers.
In the 6 weeks that Mom spent in ICU, Aileen, Jen, Beric and I started noticing a repetition of specific numbers, that at first seemed coincidental, but in hindsight, we believe that these numbers were actually a spiritual message for us.
When Mom was being prepared for surgery in the surgical ward, her bed number was 11.  When she came out of surgery, her bed number in the ICU ward was also number 11.
Mom developed post surgery complications and after 3-4 weeks, the decision was made to move her to another hospital.  Her bed number here at ICU was number 1.
After approximately another 3 weeks at this hospital and a valiant attempt from Mom to stay in this world, God came to receive Mom into his arms at 10:55 (Five to Eleven) on the 18th of November.
If you take the numbers 10:55 and numerically add them: (10 = 1+0 = 1) + (55 = 5+5 = 10) = 11.
If you take the date 18/11 and numerically add them: (18 = 1+8 = 9) + (11 = 1 + 1 = 2) = 11.
The numbers that were presented to us were the numbers 11 and 1.
The number 11 in numerology represents a spiritual messenger.  When referring to angels, it represents spiritual awakening and enlightenment.
In the Bible, the number 11 is often referenced, but the most relevant is that it is the last chapter of the Bible and the 11th of the New Testament – The book of Revelations.
The number 11 also represents fulfilment and balance.
Therefore the message to be received from number 11 is that Mom had lived her life to the full and that she’d had her share of ups and downs (balance) and that God was ready to receive her and that he was sending his angels, preparing her path for spiritual awakening and enlightenment.
Her book of life on earth had reached its last chapter.

Message from Angelo
I would like to tell you about my Granny and why I loved her so much.
Whenever I stayed over at Granny and Grandpa, they always made it fun.
They would sometimes take me to the movies and always bought me take-aways if I asked for it.
If it was a Sunday, I would go with them to church and Granny and I would share sweets.
They would always have a present for me when I visited and made me feel special.

The craziest present Granny ever gave me was one Christmas.  I thought it was a small ball, but when I unwrapped the present, she had given me a mango.  Mangoes were one of Granny’s favourite fruits.  Granny also loved ice-cream.
Granny taught me how to play chopstix on the piano and always encouraged me to draw or paint.
She was a young looking Granny.  Her hair was always smart.
Granny was always happy and loved making jokes.  She was friends with everybody.
I will miss Granny the most, for all the fun I used to have with her.

From Jennifer Rathbone.
Dot was my stepmother, and from when we first met she was welcoming and inclusive - as she was throughout her life.
When I was around we were “Big Jenny" and “Little Jenny” (The boys escaped being “Big P” and “Little B”).

 (This is before Norman, Aileen and Colleen came into our lives).
Dot had a keen sense of fun, and seemed to know what we ruffians enjoyed -
whether it was in letting us turn the lounge into a battle-field - or theatre - or climb trees to crucify them with bubble-gum, or she’d drive her Volksie, with us crouching in the very back, to the park, for a winter picnic of Russians and chips.
It couldn’t have been easy but she managed us so well, and never said   “Wait till your father gets home”
(At least, not when I was around!)
Dot enjoyed making mischief and sharing a joke.
She loved music and was passionate about painting and her love of vivid colours showed in her fabulously flamboyant dress sense.
Curious about people and life, she was courageous, supportive and encouraging.
She had an impressive faith which she shared with kindness, and always had time for an inspiring prayer.
We will miss Dot so much, but thank her for all she has left us, in so many delightful memories.
May she have continued joy and fun and freedom in her new world.
Thank you for sharing your life with us Dot.

Young Dorothy



from Jen, Aileen & Beric

"As a man thinketh in his heart so is he." The fruits of the spirit are:

Self control.

Mom, you had these in abundance!

Ours was the most amazing, beautiful, fun-loving mom, whom we loved and cherished. She will will on in our hearts and in the hearts of everyone who know her, forever.

From Farryn

My dearest Gran

I am going to miss you so much. It was difficult to watch you suffering in the end but as soon as you passed, I saw you dancing with Grandpa in heaven. I will always remember you by your sense of humour,  your smile and your compassion.

I will always strive to be like you, to dance often, to be creative and to be an inspiration to others around you.  I love you Gran.

Derek and Dorothy

From Brinique

On Wednesday last week, God welcomed an extraordinary angel into heaven, my grandmother.

After weeks of suffering, we sadly said goodbye to an amazing women, who brought joy to so many throughout her 83 years on earth.

A wife, sister, mother, step-mother, grandmother, step-grandmother, friend and devoted and loving Christian. My grandmother selflessly gave of herself, all the way up to her final weeks.

I've had the blessing of knowing her for 31 years, carrying countless memories of family gatherings Christmas' and birthdays which fill my heart with happiness even during this difficult time.

Over the past few days I thought a lot about my grandmother and the impact she had on my life and the lives of those she touched and came into contact with everyday. After serious reflection, I've noted down 3 lessons that I hope to carry with me throughout the rest of my life in her honour.

1. Family first - there was not a day that went by that my granny didn't put her family and extended family first. She showed each of us unconditional love, kindness and compassion;

2. You have to laugh - my granny sure could tell an awesome joke and she could find humour in every situation, no matter how serious or sad;

and, most importantly,

3. Trust in God - 3 valuable verses she showed me and tips on how to trust in God.

3.1.  Don't depend on you - Proverbs 3.5. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

3.2.  Put God first in your life - Proverbs 3 (9-10) "Honour the Lord with your wealth with the first fruits of all your crops, then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine."

3.3.  Lastly, listen to the Holy Spirit - (John 14.26) "But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

I know if she were here she would say, with a big smile, "I'll see you in heaven".



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