Thursday, 19 July 2012

Evelyn Smith, 1934-2012

Darling Mumsie was a fighter. Her whole life was a series of challenges, most of which were faced head-on. Behind her quiet dignity was a steely determination to surmount any obstacle in both her way, and in the way of every one she loved. Some of the decisions she made changed the course of my life. Mum didn't believe in good or bad decisions, just decisions, and life was about making them, living with them whatever the outcome, and moving on.

Mumsie was a giver. In both her working and her personal life, she cared for people. She helped babies into the world. She helped shape young people into responsible adults, and maintained lifelong friendships with a quiet and gentle demeanor.

If there were any regrets in her life, she never voiced any but one. That there wasn't enough time. My mother had plans. There are birthdays she wanted to celebrate. There are weddings she wanted to attend. There is a sister who needs her love and support. Best friends to phone up, or spend time with. There is a beautiful new baby girl waiting for a cuddle from her great-grandma.

Mumsie loved a cup of tea. Nothing gave her greater pleasure than sitting down in a comfy chair, with a cup of tea in hand. She liked to watch her favourite programmes, or talk with people, or just sit alone enjoying a good cup of tea and a little something to nibble on.

Mumsie's funeral was yesterday. The church was packed with people who knew and loved her: friends, family, former work colleagues. So many people came to pay their final respects that we ran out of copies of the Order of Service. So many young men offered themselves as pall-bearers. So many words of condolences to stop and listen to. So many cards. So many hands reaching out to us, so many hearts reaching out to us. There are no words to explain how much we appreciated them all.

My darling Mumsie, it was an honour - a pleasure - to have spent so much time with you. Even through the worst of times, we found something to talk about, to laugh about, over a million cups of tea. Whatever will I do with all my days now, I wonder?

While I feel like my heart is breaking right now, I know you bequeathed me your special brand of strength, courage and humour to help me through the worst of times.

I love you mum, and miss you desperately.