|Me, Mum and Julia, 1987. 1980s big hair all round!|
|Julia, Mum and me |
~ August 1959. That's me in the shawl!
February 17th, 2016 ~ Mum is ninety today, though she won't know about it because she's had Alzheimer's for the past seven years. Dad will take a card to the care home where she lives now, from all of us, but it won't mean anything to her; she hasn't known about dates and times for some years now. Sometimes she thinks I am her sister Angela, who lived in Australia and died not so long ago; she has also asked me where she knows me from! :)
(Note from later: Dad said she seemed to enjoy looking at her cards, even though she didn't understand what they were! Or maybe she did ~ alas, we don't know)
|Mum, bottom left, with her family, probably in about 1937, definitely pre-war anyway. Her brothers at the top, Ken and Geoff, both fought in the war. My grandparents, in the middle, were born in 1888 and 1891 - seems amazing!|
|Mum with Dad at her care home, a couple of years ago|
Before crappy old Alzheimer's, Mum was a funny, witty, intelligent woman who was always more interested in reading books, doing cryptic crosswords (and learning her lines for various am-dram performances when she was younger) than doing domestic stuff - obviously where I get it from! The house was always immaculate and we were wonderfully well looked after, but she wasn't a dedicated 'homemaker' and never encouraged me or my sister to be so, either. She used to knit for us when we were children (because women just did, in the 1960s, didn't they?), but she only ever made a token attempt at things like dressmaking. I remember Dad buying her a posh sewing machine once, and she stubbornly refused to use it ~ she was (and still is!) a very contrary Aquarian!
|Mum in the conservatory in her and Dad's house, about 12 years ago, I think|
About twelve years ago, the two of them came to visit me in Norfolk. It was bitterly cold, and we were walking round the lovely little town of Holt. Dad wanted to buy Mum a nice furry hat to keep her warm, but she refused to wear such a thing, saying that she 'didn't want to look like some batty old woman'. She was seventy-eight. When she was over seventy and she and Dad moved into their village, she was asked if she was interested in meals on wheels. She said that yes, of course, she'd be delighted to help out ~ not realising that they were asking her if she required them herself :)
|Mum and Dad in Portsmouth, 1955|
Sometimes, when I go to see her, I see a little spark of the real her that still exists; she'll laugh about something in the way she used to, or even recognise me. I'll be thinking of her today even though I can't go to see her - and now I'll stop before I get overly sentimental, or start blubbing!
|Dad, Eddie, me, Julia and Mum ~ February 1999|
|In the care home, 2012|
|Mum, right, aged 8, in 1934, with her younger sister, Angela.|