Just two years later, and on the occasion of no.2.son's birthday this came from a set which would be the last we took of her on 30th July before she died just a month later on her own birthday, 26th August aged just 62yrs. I chose this photo as she looks the least pained (and scared, for I found out a year or so later that at this point in time she did in fact know she was terminally ill where I was led to understand - for my own emotional good, I expect, - that she was not in possession of that information). Always one to hide things and put on a brave face, she did so for my son's birthday even managing to eat her food and take a drink. One week exactly after this photo and she was in hospital on morphine and we sat with her daily until she passed.
Here she is at Christmas! taken a few years ago just a little before her 60th, after she'd redecorated her house and bought new furniture; I'm pleased now that she did embark on this expensive project and that she had a couple of years to enjoy it after having scrimped and saved and lived very modestly for the most part, she was proud to have a nicely turned out house! Enjoying a glass of sherry which I now drink at Christmas time too, thinking about her.
The photo above "a pair of mad cows" and the photo below were taken, again around the time of her 60th birthday, when the entire family including my brothers, all went out for a days hiking at the local hills. Below is my brother, Martin, my youngest son and Mum and I.
As well as the countryside and animals that we shared a common interest in throughout my childhood, we shared later in my passion for sewing! She wasn't an easy woman to get on with and we worked hard to find things in common but I'm proud that she rediscovered her own passion for sewing through me and above is her enjoying her computerised embroidery machine with her stepdaughter (then pregnant with her son). At the time she was reluctant to buy this machine saying "why would I spend this money when I have cancer and not long to enjoy it?" but we were all pleased when she did buy it albeit she didn't enjoy it for nearly long enough, just a very short 18months. I have this machine now and she asked me to enjoy on her behalf.
This isn't the best shot by any means of her garden but it is the other end of the photo from the top of her celebrating her 60th birthday and shows my two sons eating their party food. A small and square town garden with rubbish soil, she worked extremely hard to produce a garden filled with flower beds, fish pond, hanging baskets, rockery and little paths - if she'd had a larger garden she'd have been in heaven! Mum would drop everything - even sewing! - for a spot of gardening and after her beloved horses this was surely her 2nd passion of her life.
My Late Mum and I, together, on the occasion of our joint 60th and 40th birthday celebrations in a countryside pub after a family lunch - I miss you Mum! xxxx