Wednesday, 21 November 2012
My mother at 25
Actually, this is probably her at 22, just as she graduated, but it is the only adult photo I have of her from around that time.
Today is a sort of silver anniversary, 25 years since my mother died. When this photo was taken she had no idea that she was almost halfway through her life. She will have been full of hopes and expectations: career, husband, family. Twenty-five years ago my future felt less bright: everything thrown into confusion, as her cancer took over quite rapidly.
I remember so many details of that day: the early morning phone call, my father telling my sister and I, the very gloomy undertaker, going out to a play at school in the evening. I remember the visitors: my best friend's mum and her sister, my father's cousin and his wife, our minister from church. I remember it wasn't raining. I remember calling my godmother, and being allowed to sit on the table without being told off. I remember that my family watched 'Allo 'Allo, the episode with the joke about the candle with the handle. I remember that day better than I remember what happened yesterday.
It is a funny thing to think about, as no-one I am in daily contact with would have a clue about it; many wouldn't even dream that my mother would be dead at this age. Yet this evening I get a message from my best friend from school and I am reminded that my mother was not just important to me. My father, sister and I mark this date each in our own ways: this is mine. A brief recognition of a wonderful person whom I will always miss.