Thursday, 4 June 2009
This is my mum Thelma, who sadly died last week. She was 83. I think she might be in her early twenties here, maybe a bit younger. I found this photo recently, and I think it's lovely. She didn't like having her picture taken, and most of the later ones from my childhood are fuzzy colour snaps. But this is her long before she was 'Mum', when she was just 'Thelma', a lively young woman.
I'm not sure I can write about what I feel. I'm not even sure I know what I feel. Sad of course, but also relieved that she doesn't have to go through any more illness. She had respiratory problems, and the restrictions on her activity had been frustrating and depressing for her. I'm also comforted by the fact that she had a peaceful end, with no pain. The grief comes out in bursts at odd moments. I'm feeling calm as I write this, but just watching the birds this morning brought on the tears.
So much that I am, I owe to her. She was a librarian, and brought us up in a house full of books, encouraged us in artistic endeavours, valued a good education, and worked hard to give it to all five of her children. She was lively, creative, generous and loving. She hated housework, loved gardening and collecting things. She grew rare orchids and liked Jane Austen, Dire Straits and Alice in Wonderland. She loved cats, but after her last beloved pet cat died, she made her garden a wildlife haven, full of birds, frogs, toads, and squirrels.
I found this badge in one of her drawers, and it brought back the late 1970s, when I was a teenager and we shared silly little things like this. She loved Popeye and especially his catchphrase "I yam what I yam", because she never cared what anyone thought of her and rather enjoyed being eccentric. She hated hypocrisy or stuffiness, so I think it's very appropriate.
She will be remembered with lots of love.