I think most people realise that I am quite a private person; likewise I respect other people’s wishes for anonymity. However, I have, on occasion, mentioned my Mum in articles, talks and interviews, over the years. Several friends and visitors have enquired about her and sent her their love and best wishes, which I have passed on.
I think I may also have related how when I went to visit her after her stroke she told me that she was “ready to go”. “Go where Mum?”…as if I didn’t know. “To the Otherworld darling. I’ve had enough of this place (this world).”
That was a few years back now…but it is appropriate for me to let interested readers know that she has now got her wish, and that I know she is happy, and cared for.
Mum took her leave for the Otherworld on 13th February; it was the 12th here in the UK.
Mum had a deep and abiding connection to the Isles, its origins and its history (but not the cold). Her knowledge, her insight, and her memory was fantastic. She has inspired me all of my life.
Mum was also a very proud ‘Australian’, she loved the sunburnt land of her birth and never forgot the immense sacrifices of her forebears and predecessors while always showing love and compassion for the indigenous people too. Mum was there to witness and be involved with the unfolding wonder that I relate in this post here concerning an old Nyungar and a powerful totem: Featherfoot. Richard was her friend.
She made friends with people from all over the world, on her travels and at home. Mum paid no mind to racial or other prejudice of any stripe. Politicians (excepting the rare honourable ones), governments, the grasping, the puffed-up, self-promoting, the look-the-other-wayers, and other ne’er-do-wells were another matter, and she had no qualms about calling them out. She was quick to defend the down-trodden and to praise courage and kindness to others. It was always the content of their character (as MLK would say) that impressed her.
Mum adored reading, especially historical novels. Her very favourite author was John Buchan but she was rarely without more than one book on the go. She loved poetry as well and could recite poems she’d learned off-by-heart in her childhood. She was a riveting raconteur as well. Throughout my childhood…in fact, all my life she’d enthrall me with tales, her own and family stories, many very humorous (and often with a moral), and historical adventures.
Before her stroke she was an avid reader of my websites and often shared the articles and other items with friends and acquaintances.
Mum was always doing something; the clicking of knitting needles was the almost ever-present background in our home…or she’d be sewing, crocheting, writing, crafting or painting when she wasn’t cooking, washing or ironing etc…or giving us kids what for. She taught us all how to do these things and much more too.
She was always there for us, and always encouraging us; our school plays, sports competitions, parents’ evenings at school, caring for us when we were ill… Giving us a good ‘un, or sent to bed if we were too naughty (and got caught) – though we did notice us older ones wore down mum’s and dad’s resolve to such discipline enough for the younger siblings to benefit from. Our home was boisterous and nearly always a happy one.
My deepest saddest memory occurred on the morning of my younger brother’s birthday (and my Nan’s). Just perceptibly, over the excited turmoil, I heard a knock at the door and answered it. Two people were standing there. “Is your Mum or Dad in?” the man said. “Yes, just a minute.” I ran into the front room and told my mum. The next moment we heard my Mum let out a piercing heart-rending scream. We all ran to the front door. Mum was bent over bawling her eyes out, holding her tummy, shaking, inconsolable, calling out my little sister’s name, and “No, No, No…”.
My sister, 7-years-old, who’d been unwell all her life, had passed away. She’d been in hospital for a little while, though most of her life she’d been at home with us. I’d often feed and change her. We were all heartbroken.
I was the eldest and knew I had to look after the younger ones. I remember I cooked (burned mostly) them, through streaming tears and sobbing, egg and chips for dinner and dispatched my sister round to my Mum’s friend, Mrs Blackburn (Eileen), to tell her. She arrived very quickly and took care of us till my Dad got home. Nobody round our way had telephones in those days.
Mum never got over the loss of Louise, and only in her latter years could she bear any conversation about her. I never knew where her body was till very many years later. I was only 12 when Louise died and for years I wanted to ask my parents where she was, yet couldn’t. I didn’t want to upset my Mum and Dad.
Long before I knew where Louise’s ashes were scattered she came to me, and she is still around.
Mum had her own (so-called) strange and psychic experiences throughout her life as well. She accepted them as just normal episodes in the myriad adventures that life is for, but they did intrigue her and inform her views.
Shortly before Mum passed over I was resting, sitting on the sofa, exhausted after a long hard day when a golden sparkly figure of a person appeared standing to my right. I noticed too, far across the room, in the dining area, two men in khaki coats doing something. The figure disappeared very quickly, the men too. At the time I wasn’t sure what that was about but first thing the next morning I heard that my mum had an infection and that she had been taken to hospital. The sparkly gold figure was my Mum, and she had come to let me know that she was about to go but I was too dull-witted to understand.
I journeyed to the well and the Sanctuary (I was away from Wales), and knowing that Mum was intent on the Otherworld prayed that she had no pain. Ffraed, Cares, Christ and the angels answered my prayers (Thank you).
Mum rallied enough to insist she went back to where she wanted to be to end her days, and in good spirits.
My Mum’s memoirs of her life growing up in Western Australia during the 1930s, 40s, and the beginning of the 50s. Mum had written a great deal of it before her stroke the rest was compiled while I sat with her in the West Australian sunshine.
Here is a lovely share from my friend M, for Mum:
Conversation by Ella Wilcox:
God and I in space alone
and nobody else in view.
“And where are the people, O Lord,” I said,
“the earth below and the sky o’er head
and the dead whom once I knew?”
“That was a dream,” God smiled and said,
“A dream that seemed to be true.
There were no people, living or dead,
there was no earth, and no sky o’er head;
there was only Myself — in you.”
“Why do I feel no fear,” I asked,
“meeting You here this way?
For I have sinned I know full well–
and is there heaven, and is there hell,
and is this the Judgment Day?”
“Nay, those were but dreams,”
the Great God said,
“Dreams that have ceased to be.
There are no such things as fear or sin;
there is no you — you never have been–
there is nothing at all but Me.”
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Love always Mum,