"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."



('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)




Friday, May 15, 2015

In memory of Mum

Today would have been Mum's birthday and an extra special one,  as she would now have been one hundred years old. As it was, she died at the  age of 86, in 1991. I don't remember what was on the death certificate but with the help of Dad looking after her, plus some excellent carers and the rest of us doing what we could, we nursed her at home and when the time came, she was able to die there peacefully, rather than in some anonymous hospital bed.
Mum was the next to youngest of five, three girls and two boys, and grew up on a smallholding in Staffordshire. I have a photo of her at about five years of age, face framed in dark ringlets and dressed in a pinafore, with her eldest sister and their mother. Sadly her parents died within a few months of each other when she was about fifteen and she spent the next few years living with her sister.

Her family was not well off so, in spite of being an able student who loved school, she had to leave at the age of fourteen to start work in one of the pot banks in the Potteries but, determined not to be held back by a lack of education, she went to night school and  eventually she was accepted to train as a nurse.

Whenever I complained about school or homework, she would remind me of her experiences and tell me never to forget how lucky I was. As a moody teenager, this usually fell on deaf ears. These days, I am much more aware  and appreciative of her efforts. 

Today she has been very much in our thoughts, never forgotten, always missed.

3 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

My dad would have been a hundred last August. He was born on the day that newspapers announced that Britain was now at war with Germany. I cannot imagine you being a moody teenager Jenny!

Jennyta said...

I know, hard to believe, isn't it, YP? Still, one can't be perfect ALL the time. ;)

ZACL said...

Lovely memories of a determined and aspirational lady...your mum.

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