Christmas is always bittersweet for me. Although its my favourite time of the year...its also the time when I lost both my parents...two years apart.
Eleven years ago today, mum and dad were on a pre Christmas trip visiting my brother and his young family the other side of the country. It had been a difficult two years for us all. Dad had been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and had been given less than six months to live. The chemotherapy had brought on a stroke, from which he wasn't supposed to survive the night. But though his determination, and the tireless care of mum, he not only survived the stroke, but his cancer went into remission too. The trip to my brothers was the first vacation they had had for years
Mum hadn't felt well for a couple of days, but being the woman she was, said it was just a little bug. She never complained. She and my brother were standing, talking in the garden. Suddenly she looked at him and just said 'Oh Dear'. And down she went. Before the ambulance arrived, she had returned home to Heavenly Father.
It was as quick as that. Looking after Dad had taken its toll as she had ignored her own health. We found cancelled appointments at the heart hospital, and indeed, as it turned out, every artery to her heart was blocked.
It all happened so fast I never got to say goodbye..and that affected me for a long time
But, in a phone call before they started their trip, she told me she loved me. She said how proud she was of me and the way I had handled my divorce. She praised the way I was bringing up my children. She said she would see me soon and we would have a wonderful Christmas. Remember, she said, Christmas isn't the time for sadness and we should make every one the best one yet. This has stuck with me to this day.
Mum absolutely loved Christmas and always made it so special for us. We have so many wonderful memories. And although she is not here physically I still feel her presence, and I carry her in my heart...always. Her legacy and love for this most wondrous time of the year continues...
And... I will have myself a Merry Little Christmas.....
This song always brings a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye..
and coincidentally its from one of mums favourite movies
Meet Me In St Louis.
Its a beautiful rendition from the incredible
Miss Judy Garland
Love and Hugs