Monday, 24 October 2011

My Mum's Smile

My Mum, Stella (aka to the family as Bet), died recently. I have been trying to think how to commemorate her, but there was so much to remember and so many things I would like to say. She lives on: many of my attitudes and my perspective are derived from her, so it is a reasonable assumption that any comments I make here are likely to be in some way a reflection of her and her influence. She already has a memorial garden here in Młochów, with much I have done here inspiring thoughts of her and with the wish that she was here with me to give advice, comment or simply to enjoy everything.

However, in looking through my photographs, something more direct and personal to her came to mind: her smile (eg from 2010).

From Mum

It is so common in her photographs eg in this childhood picture with brother Jack and sister Margaret - I think it is (Great) Auntie Bun in the background.

At her wedding to Richard:

With their first son, also named Richard - Richard, the father, died around four years after this, so Mum raised their two sons by herself, still smiling:

With (Great) Uncle George, a veteran of both World Wars and a Japanese prisoner of war camp.

With Jan and Will Spayne. Mum's friendship with Jan took us on holidays we might never otherwise have had, walking in the Lake District, Wales and elsewhere.

With Uncle George again and grandson Stephen:

With brother John in 2001:

With granddaughter Misia (Michelle)in 2005:

With the waiter in her favourite Indian restaurant in 2006:

With Babcia Basia (her sister-in-law?) in 2006:

As she became increasingly ill and she could feel her time ebbing away, the smile became more difficult, but it could still be there at least as the glimmer visible in this picture with Misia again in July this year.

One of my last memories of her was in the nursing home where she was staying. She was still being prepared for our visit when we arrived, so we waited outside her room. All we could hear was peels of laughter from the support staff behind the closed door: that was my Mum, making people laugh!

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