We all knew my Mum in different ways, as a mother, a grandmother, an aunty or as a friend.
I would like to share my memories of my Mother by telling you about the things she opened my eyes to that are still very important in my life.
She taught me to sew and when I have the time I still like to make clothes. I have piles of fabric, bought in a spirit of optimism that that time would become available!
She taught me the importance of a good book. I still love to read, and on cold winter nights, there is nothing better than retiring to bed with a hot water bottle and a good book. The hot water bottle was something my Mum was fond of too.
She encouraged me to draw. She was good at drawing herself and spent much of her childhood drawing. I also spent a lot of my childhood drawing. I am not sure how impressed she was about me going to Art College though…. Be careful what you teach your children!
She taught me to cook. She used to spend Saturday mornings making pies and cakes and scones. I must say I have never quite mastered pastry like her, but you can’t do everything! I have passed this love onto my sons too. Joshua is an adventurous cook and Benedict makes a damn good cake.
As we know, my mum loved flowers. I remember her smelling the pinks that had come up in the garden and sharing with me their peppery sweetness. She liked flower arranging - and pressing and drying flowers. I found all these dried flowers a while ago and asked if I could have them. They are still beautiful, now transparent and faded with age. I spent a few years drawing them in my studio and made some nice prints that I have sold. Her legacy lives on in someone else’s front room. I also pick and press flowers, using her flower press. Bringing home memories from a beautiful part of the countryside.
I know that if Nigel were standing here, he would have similar stories to tell, in fact his memory is far better than mine, so you might like to ask him later. I know that Nigel, Liz and family have been a huge support to Mum, especially in the last few years as her health has deteriorated and this would have made a big difference to her quality of life.
Over the last week, I have spoken to people who knew mum well and I just want to share a couple of things people have said to me:
“She was a lovely, lovely lady. She was so kind to me throughout my years at Calvary, hospitable, jolly and loved life. I will always remember her kindness and that of your Dad too.”
“I have the fondest memories of her when visiting your home and her lovely gentle smile. A warm lady, full of love and kindness in her heart. Dwell on the happy memories of her and the lover of a mother to you”.