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One Year On
This time last year I was mourning the death of my mother at the age of one hundred. Although the last years of her life were impaired by macular vision and hearing loss, she remained mentally alert. When asked how she was, Mum always replied she was amongst life’s lucky ones because she had a lovely flat in a retirement home, good health compared to many others and sufficient money as well as a loving family. ‘Some people of my age,’ she said, ‘have no one and others have families who scarcely keep in touch.’
Mum’s last birthday was on Boxing Day, 2012. She enjoyed her party and took pleasure in her card from the Queen. On the night of the 28th she left her body in her sleep.
I still miss her very much but am not selfish enough to wish she had lived on suffering from ill health.
My nine year old grandson write this moving tribute to her, which the teacher did not dare to read to the class for fear she would cry.
Why do people have to die?
Why can’t they stay with us forever?
When Mum and Dad told me Great Grandma had died
It felt as though all the happiness had been sucked out of the world by a giant black hole.
My heart had completely deflated.
No one can describe death.
If me and my dad and all the people who came for my great grandma could build a ladder to get her down
We really truly would.
Nobody can describe death.
In the church at the funeral, sadness on everyone’s faces,
My heart was in my boots,
It was like despair had taken over.
It was like the world was black.
Tears filled my eyes as people said all the kind things my great grandma had done.
I fought hard to keep them back.
But hearing all the good things she had done my heart filled like a champion weight lifter pushing it up.
Nobody can describe death.
Death creates a big black hole in you but you can fill it up with happy memories of the person that died.
But still…Nobody can describe death.
When he read it to me over the phone, tears welled up in my eyes, but I restrained my grief, remembering a quotation from the translation of The Bhagavad-Gita As It Is by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. “As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death.
This year I have achieved so much that my mother would have been pleased with. Three of my novels will be published in 2012. I have had two articles, first Baroness Orczy, and then The Scarlet Pimpernel, and a third, Samuel Pepys, will also be published in 2012 by Vintage Press.
I’m fortunate to be able to have children and grandchildren who I love dearly, to write historical fiction and articles and to garden organically. As Mum advised me, I’m counting my blessings.
My garden’s been very productive this year. From the time the rhubarb was ready to eat to now, when I have herbs and vegetables – Swiss chard, New Zealand Spinach, parsnips, turnips, red and green kale, brussel sprouts, – in the garden - carrots, marrows and pumpkins stored in the garden shed, and home grown veggies and fruit in the freezer, I have been at least 60% self-sufficient. The only disaster was the fate of 40 kilos of home grown potatoes stored in Hessian sacks in the garden shed which mice nibbled. They even nibbled the sacks!
Hopefully, 2012 will be happy for all of us, and I wish you all a healthy and prosperous New Year in which all your dreams come true.
New releases from MuseItUp.
Tangled Love 27th January 2012.
Sunday’s Child June, 2012.
False Pretences, October 2012