Thursday 19 May 2022

Mum's Service - and My Special Friend

This was the setting for our family gathering for mum's memorial service - or rather, this is where we all stayed. An amazing rabbit warren of a 13th century pub that is now run as an Airbnb - so we had to provide our own food and drink. In fact I worked here as a teenager, carting trayfuls of soup and rolls through swing doors, down a flight of steep steps, through another swing door, through the dark corridors and often out into the garden over the road, which was part of an old orchard where apples lay hidden in the grass, just waiting to trip me up - and spill the soup. But that's another story.

Jac and Lainy and I arrived on Thursday late afternoon, were met by my brothers and shown to our rooms which were huge and full of light, very peaceful given the only traffic was from the field of cows outside our windows. Various members of the family arrived through the evening and Lainy coped gallantly from the safety of her crate, interspersed with long walks down grassy lanes of ancient orchards, a 13th century church and silently grazing cattle. Very bucolic.

The next day was all go - the interment of mum's ashes into dad's space was done by the vicar while we stood around on uneven plots of grass (not good for wearing heels - I sank several inches) but was made more bearable by the children shrieking and laughing in the playground next door. Then came the service attended by about 80 people, maybe more.

My brothers put a lot of work into this and so did the vicar but for someone who isn't religious, I felt that while it was important for them, the mum I loved wasn't there, in the chill of the pews, nor the feeble sunlight straining through the old, stained glass windows. My mum is in the spaces between chapters, in the pause between thoughts. My mum is in my every day, not in a cold church where sorrow mixed with guilt for those who hadn't seen enough of her, and realised it was too late.

More walks for Lainy then we had a family dinner that night which I was very apprehensive about but in fact I enjoyed it, and Lainy coped admirably. Another walk in the gathering gloom, as she'd been in the car for a few hours while we ate, then she settled in her crate while I caught up with one of my nieces.

Jac was introduced to one of my nephews as "Sue's Special Friend", so when talking to my brothers that evening about my anorexic past, she was able to say, "Well, as Sue's Significant Other, I can assure you that she eats more than me now"......There's a lot to be said for Special Friends.... We arrived home the following afternoon after a brief visit to Totnes, I had a night at home and then went down to the Lizard to see the Fella. By this time I was feeling quite dizzy, having spent no more than 2 nights in one bed for the last 10 days. I would have stayed at home for a while, but I had a meeting with the Fat Apple Cafe at Porthallow who are now stocking my books which is great news. They also gave us coffee and cake which was most generous, and we had a fascinating conversation as the mother and daughter are also writing books that they are trying to get published. We decided to help each other, which has to be the best way to do things.

Now I'm back home, trying to remind myself where I live, and glad to have some time to myself, to catch up with work and friends, and concentrate on my books once more. To my delight, these daisies that self seeded, have burst into bloom while I was away, and I just love their cheerful little faces as I walk up the steps to my front door.


Lulu said...

Hello Sue, a beautiful and honest post. I hope you and Lainy have settled back into your home routine. Those fleabane daisies are just gorgeous xXx

Lee said...

What a lovely post.I too am not religious and share you feelings about how I feel regarding our beloved mums.Well done to Lainey must have been a bit daunting for her too.So good to have a Special Friend.I have always been a bit of a loner and find it hard to be close to anyone.Thinking of you.Hugs xx Ps.I have just had to say goodbye to my beloved Duffy The Duffer ( moggy ) he was very ill with cancer.xx

Flowerpot said...

Lulu - thank you we have settled back and feeling relatively normal (whatever that is) again! Fleabane daisies - what a great name - thank you for that. I am still having trouble commenting on your blog but I do still read it xxx

Flowerpot said...

Lee - I am so sorry to hear about your wonderful Duffy the Duffer - it is so hard having to say goodbye to our loved ones, isn't it? xxxx

Flowerpot said...

Sorry Lee I still can't add comments on your blog.....