I hope I never forget all her sayings and her ways of doing things. This is unlikely to happen because many of her words and movements are also mine. I even garden like my mum did. Rarely getting to the job in hand because the weeds on the path leading there are a distraction.
Keeping pathways and stone steps clear of weeds has been a passion for us both for as long as I remember. As a teenager and even earlier I would crouch beside her and we would work for hours on our favourite steps in our lovely terraced garden.
I realise now that I know every inch of that huge garden because of working in it in this way with my Mum.
I hope I never forget the images that I have of her, always in the garden never in the house, except for one image that I have of her in the times of the power cuts in the 70s, just after my Grandma had died. I went in search of her one evening after I had finished my homework by the yellow light of the hissing Tilly lamp. I found her eventually, she was in the dark on the sitting- room floor reading the newspaper with a torch and drinking a glass of something or other. This is an image as clear as a photograph. My mum on her knees with the paper under her elbows exactly how I often read the newspaper myself.
I remember Mum’s form working in different places in the garden. Her body a little bit bent when she was raking the moss from the lawn and then stooping to feed grubs by hand to the robins. Standing upright and stretching to the sky to pick the runner beans. Emerging from the rows covered in bits of foliage. I can imagine her bending over her potted plants as she prepared them for market, and amongst the vegetables with a hoe ,scritch-scratching like Mr Macgregor.
Peter Rabbit, now that was the book that we loved to read, and it always made us both cry! My Mum collected the whole set of Beatrix Potter books for me and presented them to me on my 21st birthday, in a special, tiny bookshelf.
Thank you Mum for all these happy memories.
Wednesday June 24th, was the first anniversary of the funeral of my Mum, it was also my 52nd birthday. I thank the seven lovely friends who joined me for the evening just around the corner at my local the Caffe Fatal and who have just said goodbye on the doorstep. It was the best birthday I could have imaged possible in such circumstances.
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