Mum’s The Word

It’s the day after “Mother’s day” and sadness has reached into my heart once again to bring a tear to my eye after reading Sarah’s last blog post.

My mum was special to the 5 of us, as Jane is to our 3. Cards are installed on the mantelpiece to remind us of their love, although Jane tends to forget they are there. But, as we read them together a brightness comes across her face and a twinkle lights up her eyes. “Those are my beautiful children you know” she states. We put them back and even though in 5-10 minutes she may have forgotten their kind, thoughtful messages of hope, at least she read and enjoyed them for the moment.


The photo is one of my mum and the girls with their granny. She was a dedicated nurse during the war and took care of the Canadian injured soldiers crossing the North Atlantic several times in the hospital ship to Halifax. She met my dad who was in the R.A.M.C. in Gaza in the 40’s and they were married in Dundee in 1947. She was a wonderful mother and only fell into the chasm of despair when my sister Ann was killed in a car accident in South Africa, whilst working there as a nurse in 1973. Her absolute hopelessness and depression lasted many many years following this, but thankfully she received some comfort from her young grandchildren. Poor Sheila, my other sister, had lost her dear sister and this had a devastating affect on the whole family.

Granny and Papa

Mum died in her 90’s less than two years ago (pictured above with my dad and our 3 children) and had this dreaded dementia for the last few years of her life, but fortunately she knew her soulmate up until the end. Unlike Jane, who after a year or so of uncertainty and delusions, finds herself rather alone in our house with a stranger sharing her bed, her dinner table, her home.

Sheila was very close to our mum and looked after both our parents so well in St. Andrews for many years. She visits the cemetery in Crail often, where Mum lies peacefully next to her Henry, Ann and my Grandpa and Grandma. She lays flowers regularly and I know she still misses her terribly. I think daughters are very close to their mothers and certainly Sarah and Emma truly now miss Jane’s love and all those precious moments not only in the past but those that were to come – including laughter and cuddles, decorating and curtain making to name but a few!

I used to buy her a nice bunch of flowers on her special day but perhaps no longer as her Stephen has all but gone in her life. We all miss our mums but I really miss my wife.

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