I wrote this memory as I waited to say goodbye to a dear inspirational lady. Aileen was unique and a fabulous role model. Aileen started her married life in Kenya, how exciting that must have been. She was one of the first women I knew who had a career, a profession and a family. She had her own car and drove her children with friends included off on adventures at a moments notice. She gave so much to the young people of our small community. With her gang of 5 contemporaries they restarted the local tennis club. Showing us the joy of tennis. The friendships formed and skills learned from this time have served us well into our adult life. Aileen had a great sense of fun and enjoyed planning games for us all to join in. No tennis, let's play rounders, club needs money, let's have a jumble sale, bonfire nights, the list goes on. She was keen for young club members to be on the club committee, where our opinion mattered. We learned to plan, negotiate and be respectful at a young age.
Aileen remained part of our lives as we grew and matured. Mum of one of our best friends we saw her regularly even as her health failed. Aileen never let her standards slip despite her physical frailty, beautifully dressed with make up on always. I will remember all these things about her but especially her beautiful red hair which always shone. So goodbye my friend, thank you for the life you opened my mind to and for inspiring me to be the person I am today xx