It is due to be one year from tomorrow, October 4th, since my Mum passed away. So what are my reminiscences of my Mum
Of course she was my Mum and thereby the person who perhaps knew me best up until I got married.
She was a weak woman in so many ways. The thyroid problem she suffered from made her to not be the strongest.
Although a farmer’s wife she was not involved in farm work per se. She dressed the turkeys at Christmas time. She did all the washing, cooking,, cleaning and book keeping to facilitate the smooth running of the home and the farm. She always made sure we were well turned out. She cleaned our shoes every morning.
She had been brought up in hard circumstances. Someone told my brother Andrew, not long ago, about how thin she was a child. She never spoke of her father. Perhaps I should have asked more. I always knew she bore a lot of pain from those days. Her elder brother, my Uncle John, worked hard for them, But particularly Uncle Johnny Dakin was always highly esteemed for helping them through the hard-times. Aunty Gladwys, Uncle Johnny’s wife, spoke of my Mum’s Dad as a “bad un” in her own understated rural charm.
I remember so much, but above all I remember that my Mum was there. She was busy, as was my Dad, so they never doted upon us. In many ways we made our own fun as children. We did not expect anything else.
We had our annual week’s holiday. Newquay, Torquay, Great Yarmouth and Tenby are some of the places I remember. One thing that comes to mind was being lost in Tenby. I was oblivious to there being any concern. But I remember her joy when I was found. (There is a vivid parable here. I never thought I was lost; I was enjoying wandering around Tenby. But to Mum I was lost and she was delighted when she found me. How true that is of multitudes in this world: lost, but not knowing it).
As I grew older she was always still my Mum. There would sometimes be those early morning calls when she had obviously been mulling upon something overnight. And without introduction or pleasantries she would unload it on you. You see she cared.
We never lacked for anything as children. Perhaps it was a good time for farming. Mum and Dad worked hard. They enjoyed rural life. I remember during my teenage years falling out with her in Pitlochry. I was fed up on holiday of Mum and Dad talking about farming. But that was who they were. They were farming people.
I am blessed to have had such good parents. It is still hard to believe she is not around. But for a year now that early evening phone call has not been made. Painful really. I missed her passing by five minutes or so. I rest in the fact that God knows that this was right. And perhaps to have seen her pass may have been so difficult.
She was a good woman. My children all thought highly of her. Happy to have her around when she came to stay. She was always taking an interest in them. Delighting to be able to hear Joshua play the piano. They have fond memories of Grandma.
She did suffer mentally. There were times when this was very hard to bear. The experience of depressive-type illness was something she had to bear. I don’t know her full history of this. but I do know of hard times in her mental struggles. Mum and Dad stuck together for nearly 54 years. Amazing really. But they were made out of a generation where commitment was celebrated.
Always good food was provided. Chips from the old chip pan. Fresh goodies from Macclesfield on a Tuesday. Such fantastic Christmas dinners. Happy memories of Christmas. Such a special time as a boy. Then there were times when they had friends for dinner parties. I remember being told off for not saying “good-night” to them all once.
All memories really now. There are the photos . There are the reminiscences.
She did not agree with all that I did. She would tell me straight. But she always loved me.
In latter years she always wondered what I was going to do with myself and my stuff. But then May Lin came along. In a strange way she always trusted May Lin more than her son. Many a time we would joke about how, at least she could trust May Lin, although she had given up on her son!
Brought up in her parlous circumstances she was thrifty. And yet she was generous.and NOT “stingy”. It was always a bit incongruous how we were one of the first in the village to get a colour TV.
This is my Mum. the only one who I will ever have. As I get older I value her more. I value my upbringing, the security of it was so special; we were not showered with stuff, but we had presents there for us.
Thanks Mum for being a good Mum. I miss you. I really do miss you so very much.