I have never been a real fan or sender of sympathy cards, yet I have received so many that it is rather overwhelming. They are all sent with the best of intentions : some from friends of mine, who did not know Mum particularly but knew of her, through me and knew how important she was to me and therefore they appreciated the pain that I will be feeling. My favourite cards however are those that come from those who knew Mum and are able to share memories with us or to tell us what she meant to them. As have said before, we knew we were loved , but we are now hearing more about what Mum used to say about us and many of the cards say how proud she was of her family.
Joshua received his first sympathy card yesterday, one just for him, and it made me cry as I read it to him: ” I am sure that you will miss your Granny very much. She adored you and was so proud of you! She talked about you so much and loved to tell us about your love of music!” They are beautiful words and although I already knew that, it was still comforting to hear them from elsewhere. She always showed a keen interest in Joshua and although she lived over 2 hours away, she wanted to share in his life, so she enjoyed coming to school Christmas concerts for instance and asked for a tour of Joshua’s previous respite provision, so that she could visualise where he was spending his time. His paintings and creations were proudly displayed on Mum’s kitchen wall.
All of the adjectives that are being used to describe our Mum, are words that I would love to think that people would use about me too , as they are all good values : kind, brave, smiling, interested in others and loyal. That is Mum’s legacy and she is certainly a tough act to follow. The minister asked us this week for Mum’s weaknesses as we were telling her how perfect she was; we thought for a while, then agreed that she was rather obsessive about her recycling and rubbish separation! At her house, we were often told off for putting something plastic into the general waste rather than washing it and putting it in the recyclable bin. We agreed that to live for 79 years and to have that as your only fault , was pretty impressive and it made us smile. Even now we are trying to maintain her high standards : last week I was ironing her duvet cover, as Mum would do, even though I would never do that at home. In many walks of life, it is important that we do not let Mum down,so we are often asking ourselves : what would Mum do in this situation? If we use that as our moral compass, I am confident that we will not go far wrong.