On 29th May my lovely Mum, Jean, passed away. That was 40 days ago. Today would have been her 86th birthday and I wish she was here to celebrate it. It just seems unbelievable that she is not. In the last few weeks of her life, she spent a lot of time reminiscing, telling me stories of her family and her childhood. She said that she had had a good life and I am so happy that is how she felt. She gave me and my brother and sister a good life too, and I am grateful that she was my Mum. I don't think I am yet ready to admit that she has gone, but I suppose that will come. For the moment I write her a little note each day about the kinds of things we would have talked about in our daily phone calls during lock down. I kind of hope she can hear me. I have her hard drive with lots of photos on, many of which I don't think I have seen. It has made me feel close to her looking through them and I am sharing a few here. The picture below is mine though, taken as I was leaving after a lunch out in our favourite cafe in Headcorn. Her cat Bertie is looking out of the window, waiting for her to come back inside.
This is Mum and her sister Vera. They look so serious. Mum always said she didn't like having her photo taken, and I think that she looks like that is what she is thinking in this picture.
This is Mum, her friend Beryl, and Vera. I am not sure who the men are.
The Lady at the back sitting down is my Nana Lena. I think the baby is Mum. The man on the left sitting down is my Grandad William. He died young so I didn't know him. My Mum talked about him a lot so I feel like I did a little.
This is a great photo my Mum took in the garden of my brother's house in the countryside. He found Bert and Ernie, the two cats at the back, as kittens, abandoned under a hedge. He adopted them, and then when he couldn't look after them anymore, they went to live with Mum. When Antony lived here, there was a kind of cat club in his garden, of about six cats who, amazingly, didn't mind each other's company. The crazy racing grey cat is called Berlioz.
About ten years ago, my brother went travelling, and he kept in daily touch with Mum, as he has done for many years. He sent her photos, and she really enjoyed following his travels and seeing the many places he went and people he met. This painting is from one of his photos. Mum went to an art class for many years, and painted so many pictures. She kept detailed albums of her work and loved her time there. Her teacher Cheryl is an amazing artist, but not the most organised person, so Mum used to organise the exhibitions the art class put on. I remember discussions about how we couldn't believe that Ofsted were interested in a group of pensioners doing art for enjoyment, and the career opportunities they might gain from the class! Cheryl the teacher had the same feelings about Ofsted that I do, mainly fear.
This is Mum with my cousin Nicky. I love this picture.
This is Nana too, and I thought this was a lovely picture as well.
The last thing is this video. It is one I took at my brother's-the same house in the country. My Mum is on there and it was a good day.