Friday, December 06, 2013

My Mum

I've written about my Mum before in the posts Dear Mum and Mother's Day. She has also been in a few of my other posts, so I am sure you will have picked up that my Mum was very, very special.

To be honest, I didn't think I would ever write the post which I am about to write. But today, something is just making me write it.

Four years ago on this very day, my family and I were sitting around my Mum's bed waiting and hoping that she could have as peaceful an end to her life as possible. And thankfully she did, just a few minutes after midnight, my Mum passed away.

My Mum, out skipping with her granddaughter
Right up until the summer of that year, my Mum had been in perfect health. Better than perfect, in fact. My Mum was in her element when playing with her grandchildren. She would be outside 'running races' or skipping with my young niece. If the weather wasn't good enough to be outside doing that, she had the grandchildren in the kitchen baking pancakes, scones and cakes. If they were happy, she was happy.

But at the end of that summer, my Mum developed an irritating cough. A lot of people in the area had a similar irritating cough so nobody, including her doctor, thought it was anything to worry about. But it became persistant, and was dragging her down. The doctor was doing all the usual things doctors do for irritating coughs, but nothing was helping. I can remember visiting and I got a shock....she looked ghastly.

The doctor was coming in to visit the following day, and when he did, I think he got a shock too at how fast she seemed to be going downhill. He had her admitted to hospital. She was put on oxygen and looked so much better. But they had to find out the cause of the cough.

Turned out my Mum had cancer of the kidney and it had spread, and obviously now her lungs were affected. It was so widespread, and nothing could be done. She had no symptoms other than that cough, so there had been no reason to go to the doctor earlier. The doctor showed us the scan, and I remember asking if they were sure that was Mum's scan. She only went in with a cough, and now we were facing this.

We got Mum home, and just tried to make the most of the next few weeks. My Mum just faced up to this with a strength which was amazing, but didn't really surprise us.

I have told people in the past that those seven weeks were the worst weeks of my life, but in a strange way, they were also the best weeks of my life. The times we shared were more than special. I stayed there most of the time and we talked, we looked through photos together or we played scrabble. We laughed. We talked more. Sometimes we didn't talk. Sometimes we just looked at each words were needed.

My Dad, sister and I kind of held each other together throughout those weeks. Actually, I think it was my Mum who was holding all of us together. But we get through it. And now today, four years on, it still feels as though she should answer the phone when I phone my Dad. It still feels like she should be in the kitchen when I visit, making me those treacle pancakes. It still feels like she should still be there. And I have realised that I like that feeling, and I never want it to stop. I like the memories and I don't want them to go. My Mum will always be part of me, part of who I am. She will always be in my head and she will always be in my heart giving me hope and strength when I need it.

So today is just one of those days when we have thought even more than usual about my Mum. And she has been there giving me and my family hope and strength today as always. And I know she always will be doing just that. She was special...very, very special.
My Mum at our wedding in 1992


  1. that was quite beautiful much love Elaine xx

  2. Thank you Elizabeth. I wish I could put my thoughts to words as well as you do. Let me just say your lovely words are a comfort to me. Your Mum was more than special. Although she was my sister, and best friend, she was like my surrogate Mum after your Gran passed away. I know Gladys will agree with me that she was the best example of a big sister to us both. I remember that night when she passed away and Gladys put her arm around me and said, "It"s just you and me now" I knew she meant of the original five in our family,( Mum,Dad and us three girls) but I feel what she said was just the way Betty had shown her 2 younger sisters by example. I miss our Friday night chats via Skype. I miss her advice. I miss her reassurance, her shoulder and most of all just miss her.

  3. Miss her everry single day. She was and always will be simply the best.

  4. You paint such a beautiful picture of your mum ,Liz. It sounds as though you have inherited her strength, sense of fun and warmth and love of family. Thank you for sharing your memories with us. it's a privilege to have the chance to see into your loving heart.Gillyx

  5. My Mum suddenly got pneumonia. Had been fit and active late 60's. Put into an induced coma. Dr said worst case he'd seen. Was in coma for weeks. She came home, so I thought she was better,or getting so. But one day dropped down dead. Dr said she had not been expected to live, but wanted to come home. Then Dad decided to join her !


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