Saying goodbye to my mum was the saddest of any tasks I’ve had to face during this Covid crisis. Yes, she of the dancing shoes, high heels and sparkling dresses, has left us. She was funny, nowhere near as prim and proper as she appeared and the master of the disparaging look.
Am I like her? It is not for me to say. Aren’t we all a little like our mothers?
I did not take after her for dancing, nor for singing but my creative talents do come from her and my grandmother. Both talented ladies, painted and sewed a fine seam and my grandmother wrote many short stories that she published in a journal for the family.
My artistic talents, my skills as a seamstress and perhaps my entire writing career, can be traced back to the genes I inherited from my mother’s side of the family. So, thank you for those Mum!
When I began writing this blog more than ten years ago, my mother often featured in my posts. Some of those posts were funny, some nostalgic and some thought provoking. As I have already said, this is the saddest of times. She was 94 (I am almost 95, Debbie,) and still had most of her wits about her, even if her memory was letting her down towards the end.
She had come through the Second World War, her stories fascinating, given birth to four children, losing two of those before their time and she had born widowhood bravely, finding solace in her dancing and finding a new partner who my younger children knew as Granddad. Outliving three partners, my father being the love of her life, she entered her 95th year, excited to be looking at the prospect of moving nearer to us, yet not willing to give up her home and the people who visited her regularly, whom she had come to regard as good friends.
I am grateful I was able to spend time with her towards the end, when so many could not be with their loved ones during the pandemic. I held her hand and laughed with her one more time before she went.
Restrictions still apply and the funeral will be small. No singing, chanting or blowing of musical instruments will be allowed, we have been told. I was not going to take my Clarinet in any case (not that I own one).
So, with a poignant final farewell, I can’t help wondering if that Guardian Angel who sat with my mother for all those weeks, really did come to help her on her way after all.
I find myself hoping that it really was so.