The view from my window

The view from my window
The view from my window

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

God bless

My lovely mom died yesterday morning, totally unexpectedly. Well when I say "totally unexpectedly", I mean she had not been ill and seemed to be in fine fettle. That being said, she was 94 but you know, when someone has been as well as she had, I think you just don't expect them to die - I thought she was invincible. Sadly, that wasn't the case.

Whichever way you look at it, I/we were very lucky to have had her in our lives for so long. She and dad didn't have it easy, but then I suppose most of their generation had it tough. Not a lot of money, large families (not necessarily by choice) and the horror and uncertainty of living through the second world war - something I hope future generations never have to face.

We were a large family of seven kids (I am number seven) and they tragically had to cope with the loss of two of those children, one to heart problems and another to a brain tumour. Sadly, as mom once said, if they had been born today in all likelihood both of those children would have survived, but it wasn't to be.

Having had a family of my own - but only two children - I wonder how they did it. You know, the days out fishing in Stratford, piling all the kids into the car, along with the fishing tackle, the deckchairs and the calor gas stove because of course we always had to have our bacon sandwiches while out fishing. Spending a day on the river with the men fishing, the women chatting and we kids playing seemed like something out of heaven. And of course it never rained (although I suspect I may have my rose tinted glasses on with that bit). Then stopping off at the pub on the way home for a packet of crisps and a glass of lemonade, or even an ice cream in Henley if we were really lucky!

I was only little when we were all moved out of "the old end" because the houses were set to be demolished, but mom told me about the parties they would have and how the floor had to be reinforced because of all the dancing, and how, since they were the first in the yard to have a television set, all the men would come over to watch the match (it probably had one of those old circular, two-pronged aerials that someone had to hold aloft so that the others could watch the game)!

But you know, without idealizing it, those were good times. Nobody had much of anything but everyone shared and looked out for each other. Our idea of heaven was jam sandwiches and a bottle of water down at the local park, and while we all came back looking like members of the ragbag gang, whenever we went anywhere as a family we were all spotlessly clean and scrubbed to within an inch of our lives.

One of the enduring memories I have of my mom is when, as a child, they would take me with them when they went out dancing. I remember the sound of the shoes on the salt that was thrown on the dance floor and how everyone - both men and women - looked so elegant and how they could all dance - not like us today bopping around with no clue! And then we would go home and I would sit on my mom's lap in the front seat (no seatbelts - health and safety hadn't been invented yet) and I could smell the smell of her face powder. That to me will always be the smell of my mom.

She outlived my dad by eleven years, and retained her sense of humour till the end. So while I am sad to lose her I count myself extremely lucky to have had her in my life for so long. At least now I know that she is at peace and back as the lovely, young woman she once was and with my dad in that great dance hall in the sky.

God bless mom.  Love you always.  A



15 comments:

  1. You have my sympathies. Hugs from MN, USA

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    1. That's very kind of you. Thank you. Anna

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  2. I am so sorry. A long and well lived life is a wonderful thing, but it does not diminish your loss in the least. Sympathies and prayers. Anne

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  3. So sorry for your loss. She sounds like a wonderful person.

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    1. She was a lovely person - both mom and dad - we were very lucky. Anna

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  5. I am so sorry. It sounds like you had a wonderful childhood and were very loved. It always says a lot to me about someone's parents when their children bring up such wonderful memories. Good memories are the best legacy.

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    1. Ah good memories - that's why I started to write this blog - because I wanted to write them down. It's what we always talk about when we get together. And thank you for your kind words. A

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  6. My sincere sympathy on your loss; her sudden death would have been such a shock for those left behind, but the upside is that she wouldn't have had time to suffer as so many do.
    Your memories will keep her close to you; she sounds such a lovely Mum.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. Yes we were very lucky - we didn't have much but both my mom and dad were lovely and family was everything. Anna

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  7. Hi I just found your blog via your comment on Iliona's. I'm so sorry about your mum your post made me cry. I'm very proud of my mum she will be 86 in a couple of weeks. We lost dad three christmas's ago but mum is still going strong and appears fit and healthy. I hope she goes on as long as possible and I intend to make the most of her until she leaves. I thought your comment on ilionas blog was fab by the way

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  8. Hi Wendy and thank you for your kind comment. Sorry to make you cry! I'm ok with it actually because I believe in life after death - which is a huge comfort. And she retained her sense of humour till the end. I mean, we have a picture of her "pole dancing" at about 88 (clinging on for dear life, more like) and a photo of her on my brother-in-law's motor bike (in carefully coordinated matching slippers) on her 93rd birthday. I hope I end up like her. I'm sure your mom has many more good years in her too so enjoy her (actually, that is partly why I started this blog - to write down the memories). As for my comment on Ilona's blog, I don't know what the solution is either but then rags like the DM don't do any favours with their rabble rousing. Oh and I had already started reading your blog too - just hadn't commented so far. Anna enjoying it! Cheers. Anna

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  9. So very sorry for the loss of your mom - what wonderful memories you have to treasure. It's the thing in life I am dreading the most - losing my parents. They are both in their 80's and pretty healthy, but you know it's inevitable. While it was sudden for you, I'm sure you are thankful that she didn't suffer for weeks or months hooked up to machines. Sounds like you had a childhood similar to mine - one of 8 kids, things were simple. I often thank my parents for the wonderful childhood memories they made for all of us, and raised us in a loving (but chaotic!) home. Peace & prayers to you at this time of sadness. May all of your great memories bring you much comfort.

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  10. Thank you for your kind words. I'm with you on the big families. When you come from a big family, if you're lucky, you have nothing much materially but you have each other - and that is everything. I wouldn't trade it for anything. And I hope you have many more years with your mom and dad to make more happy memories. Anna

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