Thursday, 4 June 2009

Thelma


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.

14 comments:

marble rose said...

She looks beautiful in that picture, lovely that it was found at such a poignant time. God Bless her - she's still here with us, in you and your wonderful memories you kindly share.

fleur xxx

Camilla said...

Sorry to hear the sad news, I hope that you take good care of yourself and that the birds don't make you cry too often.

Menopausal musing said...

Treasure her memory. She sounds to have been a wonderful woman. It's an awfully sad time for you, but try and and get through it with the lovely memories to help. x

Cowboys and Custard said...

I am certain that your beautiful mother lives on in you Elaine... You look so much like her and have a wonderful legacy of artistic skills and a warm personality..

Take each day as it comes..

With love
Michele x

Country Cottage Chic said...

I was so sorry to hear about your mum Elaine. I know how hard it is. She will live on in your heart & through your lovely memories of her.

Love,
Jayne

Mandy said...

The photograph of your mum is beautiful.
I know what you are going through I lost my mum (oh my goodness) 5 years ago this July. I too felt like you glad she was no longer in any pain.
My thoughts are with you xxxxxx

BusyLizzie said...

that is a wonderful photograph and beautiful memories. Take care, Lizzie xx

Kitsch and Curious Elaine said...

Thank you all so much for your sweet and kind comments. They mean a lot. I was a bit unsure about writing this blog, but I've found that writing about her is actually very helpful in dealing with it all.

Menopausal musing said...

Write and write and WRITE if it helps, I lost both of my parents within fifteen months and it has coloured my life..... not in a bad way.... but it made me think.... (i looked for you last week, and your post explains why i didnt find you.... hopefully in November.....?)x

jaboopee said...

I feel 'odd' commenting as i just chanced on your blog today and don't know you but that was such a lovely tribute to your mother

I'm sorry for your loss

Hens Teeth said...

I am so terribly sorry.

Pretty Practicals said...

So sorry to learn of your sad news. I'm sure your lovely memories of your mum will bring comfort in the future.
I hope you will be at the Christmas Fair and that I will get to meet you then. Best wishes, Liz

Sarah said...

What a beautiful and warm tribute to your mum. Hope you are doing well. sarah x

Kitsch and Curious Elaine said...

Thank you all so much for your comments. It means a lot. x