Sunday, 6 November 2011


..waits for no man, the quote says. And so it seems to be true. It has been 7 whole months since I last posted on here. I have, admittedly, posted more on my work blog but this, my personal blog, has suffered. It may be because I had been finding it harder to write about the non-work, the internal, the real.
My amazing mother in law, Beatrice Dartnall Duffy (aka Granny Binky, to my smalls) passed away in March of this year. She had cancer, and spent the last 6 weeks of her life in a Nursing Home, refusing to budge from her home til she really deemed it necessary. Mum was a Blitz survivor. She drove ambulances and lorries across occupied Germany. A retired police sargeant. Cancer wasn't going to push her out of her 50-year home.
The picture at the title of my blog is of my (now 5 year old) daughter hunting for Easter eggs with Gran in 2007. This was the kind of Gran she was. Dedicated to her grandchildren and family, never tiring of watching their goings on, hearing about them, doing things for them. An example of this was when my husband and I went to the house 2 days after she died. We were supposed to be looking for things we wanted placed in the coffin with Mum, a hard enough task already.
As my husband chose two of her much-used knitting needles I spotted a half-knitted grey school cardigan on needles in a basket. It would've been the last item Mum attempted to knit. Amid her pain, suffering and emotional turmoil, she was working on something for our daughter. Both of us cried rivers in that week, and even in the weeks since, there are days when things occur to us and we smile, laugh..and sometimes cry, for there is no Mum, no Granny Binky to talk to about things with. No Mum to give us her non-judgmental opinions on things, to astound us with her humility, her patience, her resoluteness.
This is hard to write about, as there was-and is-so much more to Mum than I can compact into a few paragraphs. Let it be enough to say, she was Mum to me, not just my 'Mother In Law'. She took me in as her own when I was in a strange country with no family but my husband-to-be. My husband and I both realise it will be a difficult Christmas without her, eating lots (after saying she 'couldn't possibly manage that amount!'), watching the smalls with wonder and obvious delight, expressing her gratitude for even the most trivial gift..and drinking endless cups of tea :-) I hope she will still sit with us at the table on that day. Still doing what she used to do. Being our amazing Mum.