About Me

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I am a special education teacher in England, working in a mainstream academy with a centre for children with learning difficulties. I teach a class of 7 students of secondary age with profound and multiple learning difficulties. These include autism, visual impairment and sensory integration disorder. I love love love my job. It inspires ,enthuses .and lifts me and I never intend to retire. :)

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Memories of Mother

My Mother died fairly recently, just after Easter this year.She died of pneumonia in hospital and we had enough time to rush to her bedside to say our goodbyes. It seems right to record some memories of her by way of a thank you for her effect on my life
My Mum and Dad were married for 50 years, plus, and a great example of true love worked out in action. Theirs wasn't always an easy relationship having its fair share of arguments, moods and long silences.They were very different people in almost every way but their utter respect for each other meant that whatever was going on between them they only spoke well of each other to others. My Mum suffered from depression for most of her life and as someone who both has depression and has lived with someone with depression I know that can ruin the best of relationships but my parents still loved and grew in love for fifty years. On their 40th wedding anniversary , Dad made a card for Mother and had written inside "Even when I retreat into the depths of my own heart .....I find you there." That still brings tears to my eyes and seems to me to express as complete a love as humans are capable of. My Mother was not a romantic woman and I never really heard her show her love for Dad, either verbally or physically and on receipt of the card she merely said "He's alright isn't he? . I swear though I saw a satisfied and happy smile lurking , although she was at pains not to let me .!

As  a Mother she was as loving, with as little verbal or physical demonstration of it.  However in no way could I ever doubt it. I was a very nervous child, cried all the time and was a complete pain in the bum.[of course now I know I was depressed from childhood] . Along with this went frequent wetting of beds and knickers . I was used to being told off, shouted at and threatened by other kids mums ,which of course made it worse, but NEVER my Mother. She would get up in the middle of the night, change the sheets, change me , tuck me back in all without a word or even a look of reproach..When I was ill with measles she sat up all night at the end of my bed , and long after I was an adult , if I became ill I still wanted my mother to comfort me. 
In my late teens I went through a horrid phase of blaming my mum for all my many problems! I regret this now but at the time my Mother was rather controlling and strict and consequently my life was very sheltered. Since then I have become close to people who's childhoods were so horrendous in terms of neglect and abuse that I can only be thankful for my loving upbringing. I was always safe, always knew I was loved and could always turn to my Mother in any hardship. I am so privileged to have had this.

Not only did I know that my parents loved me but I knew ,thanks to them, that God loved me. They didn't sit me down and teach me about God and his love but they made their own relationship with God so real, so in the here and now that Jesus simply lived with us. We talked to him and about Him in such a natural way that as soon as I knew anything at all I knew God loved me as I was. I didn't have to be "good" or perfect to earn it .This priceless gift I thank my parents for , as well as,of course my heavenly Father.

My Mother was crazy, in a good way! Totally hilariously mad! I think eccentric is probably the best way to describe her. She had no understanding of what and when to say things and would tell complete strangers what lovely skin they had. Now this may not seem so bad but at the time we lived in the south of England where to speak to a stranger was a mark of an escaped lunatic , never mind  to make personal comments about them. She  used her hands  for dramatic effect which was an added embarrassment to a young teenager. But we used to giggle at nonsense together  and her laughter and warmth lit up the atmosphere. Her eccentricity made mother a very endearing character and she was much loved whenever we lived.

Mother was a deeply spiritual character . Not just religious as in regular church going and prayer. She lived for God , longed to be closer to him and to do His will. Of the many examples of her love in action three stand out to me. She took in every tramp who called at her door , fed them, gave them a drink and whatever else was needed and filled their flask. It was in the days when there were tramps ie not homeless people but people who chose to walk without a home and their belongings on their back. Secondly she was unfailingly generous. She got a very small pension  in later life and most of it she gave to others .:whichever person or organisation she felt God wanted her to . Lastly I was very close to a gay couple and spent much time with them over most of my 20s. My mother genuinely believed that to actively be gay was a sin but she welcomed them into her house with as much love and warmth as anyone and they had no idea she disapproved.. Now the people who read my biog will think this nothing special and indeed as it should be? I agree but Mother came from a legalistic and often judgemental religious background so I believe she was a triumph of God's grace over the hatred and prejudice of humankind.

Sadly before the end of her life Mother suffered from dementia. She also had many little ailments that made her life unpleasant and a drag.She was so grateful to Dad for his constant care but she'd  had enough. She wanted to go home. By that she meant her eternal home with her heavenly father. Non of us believed she would die first .My Dad has had a heart attack and a stroke. It seemed natural he would go first and my Mother couldn't face thought of life without him. But God heard her cry and gave her her heart's desire. Her death was peaceful and gentle .She waited til the whole family were there and then instantly slipped away and now has no more pain or tears .

Dearest Mother, I'm sorry it took me so long to see what a treasure you were. Now I do and if I am half the servant of God that you were I'll be happy. Your life was a gift to God and your death was His gift to you.xxx


  1. Such a moving tribute to your mother. You've brought me to tears sweetheart x

  2. It was humbling to read she didn't really approve of Dirk and I - I really had no idea, she was so very loving and hospitable. Funny your previous blog was bout hospitality Elainus,... Hospitality is one of the tings that marks the beginning of civilisation, as you leave Europe and travel south-east across the Bosphorus - but Elaine's mum practiced superb hospitality in the frozen wastelands of Ian Rankin and JK Rowling! She's in heaven having a giggle about all of this now...

  3. exactly she is.Having spent most of her life disapproving of alchohol, in the words of my dad "towards the end of her life she became rather attached to it"she was only allowed half a glass of wine by her doctor and insisted on drinking it every day. On her death bed I said to her"where you're going Mother, you can have a whole glass of wine "