Thursday, 12 July 2012

Gardener, Cook, Carer, Homemaker - my mother ...


Even unto the last she kept us on our toes ... going at a time that suited her and her daughter ... peacefully in the late evening ... with no fuss or bother she slipped away last Wednesday night – Fourth of July day.

Pulmonata: slugs and snails ..
this would have interested my mother

No late nights, no anxiety – frankly none of us expected her to leave us – the nurses, the care staff, or me – my brother said ‘that’s a surprise’, as I’d only been on the phone minutes before letting them know the situation – only to ring back and say she had gone.


Even on Monday – we’ve been here before ... she will recover; even on Tuesday the doctor was only called for good order – we hadn’t had need of her for a year ... she said 2 – 5 days ... but I didn’t think much about it – my mother thought otherwise ... 36 hours later I was called out.

English stone walled garden planting

She had always been practical and got on with things and somehow over the years managed to rationalise in her own mind that faith, courage and strength of mind were her friends now.


She has been quite incredible during the last five and a half years ... there were times that were challenging, somehow we managed to laugh our way through them – she did want to get back to the way she was ...

... and we had many fictitious travels back to Penzance in a Purple People Carrier, overseas holidays to New Zealand and Australia – hiring a plane, even to Buenos Aires, where she ‘had castles’ and Valparaiso ... do you know where it is? ... amazing she even came up with the name.

Newlyn steps - looking east over
Penzance Bay - her recent home
I had to laugh a lot of the time – because she was so ‘with it’ even if it was logically impossible – we’d roar with laughter at the thought of slings, the numbers of carers we’d need for the journey etc etc ....

The staff laughed lots too ... and over the nearly five years we had been in Eastbourne ... so many stories came out – I’d be accosted as I walked in ... “your mother ..... “ ... shock horror at her comments and ripostes – then we’d have a good giggle! 


Everyone was very fond of her and that made such a difference to me – it’s never an easy time to see one’s mother bedridden for so long without apparently any benefit ... but to look on the bright side of life –


I’ve learnt loads along this journey, I appreciate illness far more, and the needs of many; I’ve met some incredible people ... that’s been a huge bonus; I’ve had lots of support from family and friends ...

Scented Roses - perfect for the sensory
aspects

My mother was never very effusive – she was always grateful for everything that happened, philosophical at ‘disaster’ times, while her one pleasure (as she has been fed intravenously – her decision) is the educational rapport we’ve had.  Two things she said to me ensured I knew she valued me and the support I’d been providing her had been hugely appreciated – what more as a child should I not do.


Right from the beginning I realised I needed to visit with interesting stories to hand, and I realised that by writing out to family and friends I’d elicit letters back – so I did a lot of that ...

Tall ships - another of my mother's loves
in a gloomy Penzance Bay

This blog is not called Positive Letters for nothing- from a few people writing and saying your letters are so positive and interesting – please don’t stop ... well I haven’t stopped blog posting 440+ posts later ... or writing letters for that matter ...


These interactions kept my mother stimulated and interested in educative history ... we’re a very small family – so that wasn’t an option or source of chit-chat ...

... and Mum would send me home from London, when she was in hospital there at the beginning, to google things and come back with interesting articles etc ...


... my take on Talli’s blog when she asked us to write on “If I could be anyone ....” – I’d picked Mary Wollstonecraft – as I walked through the churchyard to get to St Pancras Hospital, where my mother was when she was being assessed before her move to Eastbourne.

St Pancras Hospital - the Sun Memorial behind
which is Mary Wollstonecraft's grave

We had long discussions about St Pancras Workhouse – now the  hospital ...  I often talked about the blog – and she was amazed that people were always sending their love, hugs in her direction and asking about her well-being ... so thank you for that support over the years.


I didn’t read much to her from the blog, because in later years she wasn’t that easily able to concentrate so I’d mix and match what I talked about or read (usually about Cornwall) ... but one blog post always tickled her – and she remembered and laughed ...

Washington's mouth does look awfully
uncomfortable .. doesn't it?

... Washington and his false teeth ... she would have loved to know that Winston Churchill had a gold plate – that featured in the Gold Exhibition I went to and recently wrote about ... forgot his plate!  However there's a story attached to that too .. so another day ...

About 10 days before she died – I told her a story I’d read on someone’s blog about a Scots lad who, on being caught by the police pre-war, had on a whim given them his name as a name taken from the iron-monger’s sign above the policeman’s head ... it stayed with him through his life – he did manage to clarify matters just before he died ...

An Ironmongers - but our toolshed didn't look
much different in the 1950s ... 

I’m sure it was in the States – if anyone remembers whose blog this story belongs to – please let me know.  He was their father and this happened 25 years ago or so ... but my mother belly laughed at it – pronouncing at the end “How wonderful” ... she always amazed us ... two staff were in the room too ... we all had a good giggle ...


Then this story – that I never mentioned in my last blog post, nor told my mother ... but this too would have tickled her:


c/o Local Guardian in Wimbledon
area
The tennis ball sofa featured in my last post, Wimbledon and Olympics, has a story ... that would have amused my mother ... a furniture maker turned a sofa that had been dumped in the street into this ‘art work’ .... Mark Thurgood, used tennis balls donated by the local Telford Park tennis club, in Streatham, to create this rather special piece of memorabilia.


Then a co-tennis player decided that it was so good that they should offer it to the BBC, sent them some pictures and the rest is history.  Apparently it’s really comfy to sit on – though with all the rain delays we had the night-time presenter, John Inverdale, hardly ever used it.


I wonder where it’ll end up ... I’m sure my mother would have said Wimbledon will keep it ... and she’d have had a good laugh ... this was her type of story.

And guess what is in Scotland - another castle:
Dirleton ... I might take a look around

Well that’s me for now – I am fine and happy with the way I’ve been around for my mother, so I have no regrets, nor need to grieve as such – I’ve been doing that ... but all the while keeping my brain active ... now the little bird is free to roam occasionally –


As my mother counselled me a few years ago – travel before you reach 80 ... but you’ll be a double old age pensioner before you get around to that ... I just had to laugh and think to myself ... Mum at the rate you’re going I probably will be 120 before you take yourself off ...


Still we survived as best we could in the circumstances and now you are at peace ... Gardening, Cooking, Homemaker will be posted on anon – but she was excellent at all of those ...
I'll be there in a few hours - if the net and Blogger
ever get to connect and work today - ?!


Thanks everyone for your support – I’ll be around spasmodically for a while – and I’m going to Scotland (pre-planned) at the beginning of August – so that will be a nice short break to tie up with some old friends ... then I shall settle back in to blogging – with the world ahead of me!



Much love Mum ... be blessed where you are ... you deserve some good times ... 



Today I'm off to London to (as so many of you instructed me!) to see "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" under the big top in Kensington Palace ..  report back shortly .... 

Blog post on Washington's Teeth

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

107 comments:

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I am sure that your Mum will RIP she sounds a wonderful lady. My thoughts are with you at this time as my Mum went unexpectedly in 2002 and I know how the loss effects you. Take care and keep well Hilary I will be thinking of you in London. Diane

Empty Nest Insider said...

Hilary, I am so sorry about your mum. She sounds like such a wonderful person, and I feel like I knew her from your continued updates. You devoted your life to taking care of your mum, and I'm so glad that she was appreciative. Please know that I'll be thinking of you, and I'm just an email away if you ever need to talk. Take care of yourself, and try to have a relaxing break. Julie

DeniseCovey _L_Aussie said...

What a beautiful, heart felt tribute to your Mum. It sounds like she went peacefully and you had fun right to the end.
Enjoy your break in Scotland and enjoy The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.' Should be amazing.

Denise

Old Kitty said...

Oh Hilary. I am so so so so sorry to hear about your mum. I'm so sorry. You've written such a beautiful post for and about your mum and her love of stories and travelling without boundaries, using the mind and imagination and the power of words.

Take care
x

MorningAJ said...

Oh Hilary

I know you've done everything you could for your mum and that you've had some good times in spite of everything over the last few years.

You're bound to miss her. Looking after her has been such a huge part of your life.

Now it's time to take care of yourself. Have a wonderful time in London and Scotland. Enjoy them for your mum's sake. And keep writing your blog posts for her - because I firmly believe that somewhere she'll be able to read them.

Teresa Coltrin@Journaling Woman said...

Dear Hilary, I am so sorry for your loss. I will miss her too. Your thoughts through words, of her, have helped me get to know her. I hope you'll continue to tell us wonderful stories of your mother.

You have been a daughter to your mum that any mother would cherish.

Please take care.

Teresa

Karen Walker said...

Oh, Hillary, I am so so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to your lovely, loving mum. I am glad you are taking a few days for yourself. Be well.
Karen

Laura Eno said...

What a beautiful, postive message you present on your mum's passing. You're in my thoughts, Hilary. Be good to yourself and look forward in life while remembering the laughter.

walk2write said...

So sorry about the loss of your wonderful mum. Take care and get some rest, Miss Hilary. I look forward to reading many more of your inspirational stories.

Clarissa Draper said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's death. What a life she led. Filled with so many adventures. I hope you have a good trip to Scotland. And know that we'll be here for you, when you're in Scotland and when you return.

Susanne Drazic said...

Oh, Hilary. I am so sorry for your loss. This was a beautiful tribute to your mom. I always enjoyed reading about her in your posts. (((HUGS)))

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I'm sorry for your loss, but it sounds like your mother had a full life, and a great sense of humor. And you were always there for her. Enjoy your time in Scotland.

Barbara Swafford said...

Dear Hilary,

I'm so sorry to hear about your Mum. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. I'm sending you love and ((hugs)).

M. Reka said...

Oh Hilary. I am really sorry to hear about your mum. You've written such a great post for..I am sure that your mum will RIP. My thoughts are with you at this time..Lots of love marinela

Grace said...

Hilary...I am so sorry for your loss
You have been a dedicated an most amazing daughter.

Even the way you wrote this post shows so much of your personal integrity.
Even in your pain, you are articulate and enchanting.
Well done my dear.
Well done on this post ad so much more...
-on having been with your mom through the last years,
-on having talked with her
- researched for her
-laughed with her
- loved her
-and generally BEEN THERE for your mum in every way.

Well Done Hilary... all the way around.
My heart is touched by your words and by your reflections of your mum.

As you adjust to her passing, May you be able to breathe deeply, sleep soundly, eat heartily...and find intense contentment in your memories of her.

Blessings be upon you.

In Him,
Grace

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'm so very sorry, Hilary. Dang, it feels as if I lost an aunt. She was a truly remarkable woman, and I really enjoyed getting to know her. May she rest in peace. Thank you for allowing me these many snippets of her life.

KarenG said...

My sympathies go out to you, Hilary. She sounds like such a wonderful woman, and the women of her generation taught us so much.

Richard said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Sounds like you had a good, if not great, relationship with your mother. That probably meant as much to her as it did to you.

Davina said...

Hilary, my deepest condolences to you over your Mom's passing. I too feel as though I know her from reading all your updates. I couldn't help but tear up while reading your post. I had always appreciated the little snippets you shared about your mother -- thank you for including us in your time with her. What a blessing that her passing happened so quickly and that you also had a good amount of time spent with her. You are a good daughter. xo Warmest hugs and blessings to you and your mother.

Jo said...

My condolences too Hilary. Sounds like she was a wonderful woman.

Julie said...

What a lovely, heart-filled blessing you share with us, Hilary. May you be enveloped in the love you and your mother shared, carrying it with you always. Bless you. <3

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Everyone .. I've replied to all your comments twice now - and Blogger has failed to post it .. which frankly is 'dementing' me ...

This is a test one - just to let you know that I do appreciate each and everyone .. and if Blogger doesn't post it .. then this last time I save them ... this morning I didn't as I'd typed it in word ..

So many many thanks to you all .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thank you all so very much for your thoughts and lovely comments et al .. I am steaming quietly at Blogger – as I commented this morning before I went out – replying to everyone’s thoughts ... and I am unimpressed with blogger – not you all!! Just to clarify those words!

@ Diane – many thanks .. she is at peace and that’s the main thing ... I’m so pleased my Mama surprised me rather than shocked me – though it was unexpected. I do appreciate your thoughts and London was a lovely break ...

@ Julie – I’m just so grateful that I’ve imparted some idea of the woman my mother was ... she certainly was appreciative of my support – I’m touched by your thoughts for me ... and it will be lovely to be in touch at some stage ‘for some talk’ ... but I am fine and will enjoy the relaxing break in a few weeks ...

@ Denise – we shared the time together ... even really to the end – I’m sure she is happy at the way it has gone .. and we did have fun right to the end as you say ... Scotland will be lovely – and the show yesterday was brilliant.

@ Old Kitty – you said it so well ... she certainly loved travelling without boundaries, and used her mind and imagination at all time ... while those ‘words’ you mention – remind me of another story I must tell at some stage ... she did love the interaction – and we were lucky that she could participate in that – something her strokes hadn’t deprived her of.

@ Morning AJ – yes we have the happy times are those you remember and can share and laugh about - I will miss her/do miss her ... but the memories will always be there and we had such happy chapters these last five years ... She was amused that I was writing – so I’m sure she’ll be fast catching up now! I don’t think I’ll be giving up for a while .. but I loved London yesterday .. and Scotland will be a real treat ..

@ Teresa – that’s so kind .. I’m just pleased I’ve been able to show a little of her life through the blog – and I don’t think I could stop telling those stories or referencing her on occasions – she was always so stimulated with the conversations we all had with her. Your words are just lovely – thank you .. and I am taking care ...

@ Karen – it’s a sad time – yet a cheerful time .. she can now be at peace – and I’m grateful for your thoughts here ...

@ Laura – many thanks .. I’ve been quite careful re looking after myself, and I am looking forward ... as I’ve all the happy times we’ve had together ...

@ Walk2Write – that’s so lovely to see you here with your kind words .... I don’t think I’ll stop blogging – so there’ll be more stories to follow ....

@ Clarissa – she certainly would have loved to have had more adventures – but she had her fair share of journeys in many ways ... so we’ve been lucky. I’ll be around – Scotland will be a lovely break away from the machine!

@ Susanne – many thanks it’s wonderful to hear so many of you enjoyed reading about her – as she infiltrated the blog posts! It’ll continue on I’m sure .. and so appreciate the HUGS!!

@ Susan – great to hear from you .. she did have a full life and achieved lots ... while at the end that humour came out – gosh did we have some ribald times ... and importantly I was able to be with her ... I shall enjoy Scotland in a few weeks time!

@ Barbara – many thanks for your FB note .. I’ll get across tomorrow at this rate ... you’ve been around my blogging life practically since the beginning ... and it’s lovely to see you here ...

@ Marinela – I’m sure she’s resting in peace – and will do so in the future ... just lovely to hear you enjoyed the post .. and thank you for your comment ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Grace – that’s so kind of you .. we’ve had a good few years of happy memories mixed in with the challenges of illness etc – but certainly I’ll remember our crazy laughing times and her stories .... and as you say – the most important thing a child can do is BE THERE for their parent ... You’ve been so kind with your words – I really appreciate them ...

Yes I am adjusting .. and I will be content with the happy memories of her life and know her courage pulled her along and through adversity ... she was blessed I’m sure ....

@ Joylene – gosh your comment made me giggle .. too funny – but just so lovely to read – so appreciate that. She was remarkable – that is definitely true ... and I’m sure there’ll be more snippets .... just delighted you loved hearing about her and our laughing life ..

@ KarenG – many thanks .. as I know you’ve been there with your mother and have written your book about her years of the Famine and Depression ... they do teach us so much and will I’m sure continue to do so as we think back and think about things ...

@ Richard - you’re so right ... we enjoyed these last years together .. and she told me she couldn’t have coped without me ... something so important for both of us ..

@ Davina – so many thanks .. you’ve been around in the background with me at times via email ... it’s funny how much we can impart through our words ... I cry too – as I read and as I write ... but it’s wonderful those snippets have been so appreciated. The end of her life, though drawn out, was meant to be somehow – we both benefited from it ... and thanks so much for your thoughts.

@ Jo – appreciate your words Jo ... she was an amazing lady ..

@ Julie – so wonderful to read your words ... and I will carry many memories in my heart of these recent times ... as well as those earlier days .. your words mean much – thank you.

So very many thanks everyone – all your thoughts and FB etc are just wonderful to read and you’ve all been so supportive over the years – but my mother did love hearing from everyone – as she will now ... but she’ll be resting easy for a little while ... and enjoying her freedom ...

Your support and encouragement have meant and mean so much to me – have wonderful weekends ... I shall have happy memories and relax a little .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

I found out what it was .. too many characters .. and I suppose I was bleary eyed and missed the message!

Posted now .. cheers to you all - Hilary

Lynn said...

Dear Hilary -

I am so sorry for your loss, but quite understand the peace you feel in your mother's passing. What a great lady - so much spirit.

(((HUG)))

Ana coelho said...

HIllary,thats lovely.
loved reading your story.

Ann Best said...

Dear, dear friend. I must have been inspired to come over here to see what has been happening in your life. And what do I get? A marvelous tribute to your mum that has lifted my spirits to realms beyond as I also thought of my departed parents, and younger sister and brother as I read this beautiful post. I feel how happy your mum is, freed from her body that no longer worked for her; and I feel her putting her arms around you, so grateful for all you did for her. Yes, you have learned much about life and love as you've been her friend, her confidante, laughing together with her at the wonderful stories. It will for a while seem strange to you that she's away from you for a time, but I know she'll be happy to see you spreading your wings. And I for one of your blogger friends look forward to more positive letters...inspirational stories! Have a wonderful time in London!! Much love from me and Jen.

Ann Best said...

p.s. And a wonderful time in Scotland! I'm looking forward to all the wonderful pictures!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynn - she was a great lady .. and yes peace is a good word .. with much spirit. Thank you so much ..

@ Ana - much appreciated ..

@ Ann - that's wonderful to read that my post lifted your spirits ... and I am sure she is free as a bird now and will be happy to join others who have gone before.

You're right I have learned much about so many aspects of life .. and though my mother knew I was to a point tied to her she held her peace about it - she had tremendous courage and strength.

I'll be around for more 'stories' .. thank you so much for both (you and Jen) your support, with your many generous words ..

I shall enjoy Scotland and London was great ..

Many thanks Lynn, Ana and Ann - have happy weekends .. Hilary

Dot said...

I just heard about the passing of your mother. It's so nice that the two of you had so much time to spend with each other at the end of her life. I'm sorry for your loss, which at least was gentle and well prepared for.

Coral Wild said...

Dear Hilary
I am so sorry to hear about your mother's passing. Your posting was a lovely tribute and reminded me of my long passed mother, who I still miss.
I wish you all the best for your "new" life ahead and look forward to many more of your inspirational stories.
Regards Sue

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Dot - wonderful words - thank you ... yes it was gentle and though we weren't prepared .. it's fine - mentally we'd been prepared for sometime ...

@ Sue - I'm so pleased my post brought some thoughts of happier times with your mother before her passing .. Many thanks .. slow adjustment - but plenty more stories on their way ...

Thanks so much Dot and Sue .. Hilary

Donna Hole said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Hilary. Your Mum sounds fabulous, and inspiration to you and other lives she touched.

This was an awesome post, and I'm so glad you have so many wonderful memories to sustain you.

Have a good trip, and I look forward to more of your traveling stories.

.......dhole

deborahjbarker said...

Such a beautiful and poignant post Hilary. I have loved to hear about your mother through your blog, over these many months and am sorry that she has gone but so glad it was peaceful. Don't we all wish for that at the end? Now you can perhaps, do all those things you have thought about and I am sure your mother will watching. I look forward to being inspired by you as you explore your new world. Debbie X

deborahjbarker said...

Such a beautiful and poignant post Hilary. I have loved to hear about your mother through your blog, over these many months and am sorry that she has gone but so glad it was peaceful. Don't we all wish for that at the end? Now you can perhaps, do all those things you have thought about and I am sure your mother will watching. I look forward to being inspired by you as you explore your new world. Debbie X

A Lady's Life said...

Dear Hilary - I am so sorry for your loss. You have indeed been a wonderful asset to your Mum, a wonderful daughter and friend. She was so lucky to have you by her side and your blog is indeed an inspiration. You put a lot of work into it.No matter how much you prepare, it's always hard to say good bye.
May she rest in Peace with God .

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Donna - many thanks.. yes I've learnt much .. and my mother certainly touched many lives. I really appreciate your comment re the post .. I'm around and will be - good to see you..

@ Debbie - I'm so grateful including that my mother has 'inspired' you over the months .. and thankfully it seemed to be peaceful. Don't we all just wish life could go quietly and without strife we'd all rest easier at the end for ourselves and for our near and dear!

Not much will change I expect - I'll just move quietly along in much the same way - with more freedom and room to expand my life - thanks so much ...

@ A Lady's Life - lovely to hear from you ... thankfully I seemed to ease her path along this last chapter of her life ... and so pleased you appreciate the blog ... as you say - I'm sure she's resting in Peace now ...

Thanks Donna, Debbie and A Lady's Life - have good weeks .. Hilary

juliet said...

Hilary, lots and lots of love to you at this time of your mother's passing. What a great character she sounds, and how lucky she was to have a daughter like you who kept her in touch with the funny, interesting and colourful side of life. How wonderful that she slipped away peacefully.
Do give yourself some quiet time - the trip to Scotland sounds perfect - as such a momentous event needs to be absorbed, little by little.
I've only just found your post - had to hunt it down again despite signing up for a 3rd or 4th time! Blessings.

juliet said...

P.S Love the tennis ball sofa. I can imagine having a nice quiet bounce on it.

Karen Lange said...

Hilary, I am so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. This is a lovely tribute, fitting too, from what I've gleaned from your posts over the years. I am sure she would be so proud of you. You are a wonderful daughter.

Will be thinking of and praying for you.

Take care of yourself,
Karen

Friko said...

What a wonderful mother/daughter relationship you had and it's equally wonderful that you have nothing but good memories of the years you had together.

You did well, now have a rest and take some me-time.
All the best, dear Hilary.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary,

My condolences to you and your family. Your post was a lovely tribute to your Mum.

I understand the surprise when the end does come. After being through so many crises and coming out the other side, we somehow expect that to continue. I experienced that with my late husband.

Blessings,
Susan

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Juliet - we were lucky in so many ways .. as she kept her ability to communicate - that made the whole process so much easier. Her slipping away was a great blessing .. and so peacefully too ..

Yes - I'll have some time now to adjust - Scotland will be lovely ..

Don't understand the inability for some comments to show - nor you not being able to remain signed up for the Blog ...

But the tennis ball sofa is fun - I wonder if it'll make another entrance next year ...

@ Karen - many thanks and I'm so pleased the post rings true - as you've been a great follower these past years. Many thanks for your thoughts and prayers ...

@ Friko - really appreciate your words .. my mother would have loved Valley's End .. just lovely scenery, though she was fond of her rugged cliffs of Cornwall.

Thank you so much Juliet, Karen and Friko - I'll be 'resting up' and getting some sleep .. but I'll be around .. cheers for now - Hilary

klahanie said...

Dear Hilary,
Poignant, powerful and the love of a daughter to her beloved mother.
This moving, heartfelt recollection of your dear mother, resonates with hope, inspiration and indeed, the positivity you exude. A positivity that was instilled in you by her and all that you cherish so dearly.
My sincere condolences to you and your loved ones, dear lady.
In kindness and admiration, Gary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Gary .. many many thanks for your comment - somewhere along the line my name reflects my attitude to life .. I'm very grateful to say.

We are getting through and she will always be remembered particularly during these tough times she recently endured. We are lucky in so many ways - lovely to see you - Hilary

Mason Canyon said...

Hilary, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I'm sorry that I haven't been keeping a better check with you to see how she was doing. From your writings I can image she was a wonderful lady that was a joy to be around. May your memories help you through these difficult times. Sending you hugs, love and prayers.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

~Sia McKye~ said...

Hilary, first, I'm sorry you lost your mom--that's hard whether we expect it or not, whether it's better for them or not. There is still a hole and part of the little kid we were, falls right into it.

I am glad you had time you did with her and found all the interesting tidbits to share with her. You'll treasure the memories of the delight in her eyes when you presented something new or funny, her sense of adventure with the stories, her belly laughs. All good things.

I glad she's at peace. I'm happy to see you finding yours.

Hugs!

Can't wait to hear what you think of Show in Kensington. :-)

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mason - no worries .. we all get taken away from the blogs .. we had lots of fun over the years and she managed to make my life easy, which we were also able to laugh above the adversity. I do remember the happy times - and really appreciate your thoughts at this time.

@ Sia - yes, one of the things my Ma did say a couple of years ago I guess .. that she couldn't look after me now - that did bring tears to my eyes and still does. But she wasn't at all selfish during this time and just accepted I was there with her along the journey.

We certainly had fun together sometimes .. rocking and rolling around together - wiping the laughter tears from our eyes .. as you say she made everything good and enjoyable ..

I too am glad she's at peace and I am slowly getting through the parts I'm dealing with and once those things are dealt with .. I can move on with my own life.

Kensington Big Top Show .. Lion, Witch and Wardrobe in August .. coming up ..

Thanks Sia and Mason .. Hilary

Shirley Wells said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Hilary. Your mother is at peace now and I'm sure you'll treasure the good memories.

Do take care of yourself at this difficult time. So sorry.

nutschell said...

YOur mom sounds like a wonderful person. I'm sorry to hear of her passing. I'm sure she's running around in heaven like a little girl again.

Hugs!
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Sara said...

Hilary,

I know this sounds strange, but I actually cried reading this post. I feel in some ways I got to know your mom through your blogs. You always left the little notes to postman about how she was doing. I always felt she was a part of your blog. I wish her well.

Do take care of yourself and allow yourself time to grieve. I imagine your mom will be watching over you as you did her.

MTeacress said...

Have a lovely time in Scotland.

I'm glad you have such pleasant memories of your mother. I'm sorry about her passing.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Shirley - many thanks too for your email - yes she is at peace and thankfully I have many happy memories to treasure.

@ Nutschell - very probably she is .. she'd love to run and be free to roam again .. while she was a wonderful mother.

@ Sara - it's wonderful to know she really was a part of everyone's lives when you visited the blog - I always felt 'compelled' to include her in the posts ...

I am sure she is at peace and will be around for me in the future - reading and helping me write the blog ... as well as keeping that motherly eye out for me.

I so appreciate your comments re your feelings ...

@ Michelle - I will enjoy Scotland and have fun up there - it will be a fitting end to looking after my Ma ... I miss her, yet she is here in some way ..

Thanks Shirley, Nutschell, Sara and Michelle - lovely comments - Hilary

Lenny Lee* said...

hugs hugs hugs
...from lenny

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lenny ...

star star star ... you are a delight - this will rank as a brilliant comment - just love it.

Exactly what I need hugs all round .. and with you would be wonderful - one day I hope.

Cheers and big big hugs back - Hilary

Arlee Bird said...

Sorry to hear of your loss. It's been a long struggle that I've followed since I first found your blog. You've been dedicated and a real blessing to your mother I am sure.

My love and prayers are sent your way.


Lee
Wrote By Rote

Marja said...

My sympathy Hilary. Your ode to your mum is beautiful, rich and touching. What a special time you had together and I wish you all the best and a great time in Scotland. Take care, Marja

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lee - many thanks for your thoughts - at least my Mama can rest easy now.

@ Marja - thanks so much Marja .. we had a good few years despite the challenges .. yes I shall enjoy Scotland.

Lovely to see you both - cheers Hilary

Liara Covert said...

Hilary, love keeps you forever connected to loved ones. The only separation is imagined in the mind. People speak to loved ones present and apparently absent and know whatever is said or felt is received. Its all silent energy vibration.

Betsy Brock said...

Aw..big hugs to you Hilary! I'm so sorry that she's gone. But..wow...what wonderful memories you have. Thank you so much for sharing them with us. She was a delightful, witty woman. xo

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Liara .. I knew your words would be wise ... she will always be around in someway ... Silent energy vibration is such a strong phrase .. thank you.

@ Betsy - yes I've certainly collected a few over the years, particularly these last ones - I'm just so pleased her 'essence' came across via my blog - she would have been delighted to know ..

Thanks Liara and Betsy - enjoy your weekends .. Hilary

Chase March said...

Love, condolences, and warmest thoughts.

Elise Fallson said...

I am so sorry to hear about your mom. Carry with you all those wonderful memories and you will carry her close to your heart.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Chase - thanks so much ..

@ Elise - I will carry those memories with me - you're right they will bring me back to the fun we had ..

Cheers to you both .. Hilary

cleemckenzie said...

Here's to a wonderful mom (mum) and to a daughter who appreciated all she meant. You've shared your mother with so many people and connected us to her and to your loss. I'm sure she'd be amazed. I'm sure she'd love it.

I'm losing my own mum a bit at a time, so I understand your experience.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee - lovely thoughts thank you - it's great to have everyone's recognition of my mother and as you say - she'd have been totally surprised .. and would have smiled very brightly.

I am so sorry for you - and just hope your mother's path is peaceful and that you can still enjoy times together .. with thoughts Hilary

Theresa Milstein said...

Hilary, what a moving post and lovely tribute to your mother. Thinking of you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Theresa .. it's good to read through my post when friends comment - and I'm so grateful I wrote it .. it reminds me of our life during these past few years .. many thanks for commenting .. lovely to hear from you .. cheers Hilary

Jenni Steel said...

Hi Hilary,

So sorry to hear your sad news of your mum. Your mum sounded a remarkable lady and you an incredible loving daughter. Spending some enjoyable times even in those final hours.

I hope you have an amazing trip to Scotland and will look forward to reading more of your posts when you return.

Thank you for dropping by my posts.
Very best wishes to you. Jenni xx

Susan said...

Hilary: Your mother and her daughter are models for us all, on how to live, how to die, and how to make beautiful meaning out of it all. I'm sorry I was offline when your mother passed, so could not write more timely. Fond wishes to you, and happy travels!

Patricia said...

Hilary,
I can feel your loss and I will thank you for keeping us in touch with your mum with the snippets on the blog and your words - lovely and true and full of life and love...ah me
A full life recounted and shared...and now a trip to Scotland and some time away and rest - renewal

It was a good journey and now will have new trails to take and more adventures to share

blessings and hugs to you dear girl...keeping you in my thoughts and prayers

Ella said...

Hilary,
I am so sorry for your loss! Your Mum sound like a wonderful woman who lived with grace, a kind heart and find joy in the ordinary n' extraordinary! We all would be lucky to have that mindset! She found a way to be herself, no matter the situation! I so admire her strength and how she lived her life! You have had a wonderful relationship, with your Mum...what a blessing! (((hugs)))

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jenni - many thanks .. she and I were 'lucky' in her illness and I made the most of the time we had together.

If the weather stays as it is .. it will be a superb time in Scotland - if not it'll be great fun anyway!

@ Susan - many thanks for your lovely comment - somehow we did make the most out of it thankfully. Summer is the time to take a break away from the screen isn't it .. so no worries and thank you.. I'll enjoy Scotland.

@ Patricia - delighted to read your comment .. that it resonated so well with you .. many thanks.

It has been a 'good journey' and as you say ... she'll be woven into the travels ahead - so I really appreciate your words ...

@ Ella - so many thanks ... my mother would be so delighted to read your words ...

... and you're right she did have an incredible mindset and found a way to be herself at all times. I was in awe of her at how she coped with the life she ended with .. but cope admirably she did.

Yes we really did have a wonderful mother-daughter relationship and it was a blessing ..

So many thanks Jenni, Susan, Patricia and Ella ... cheers Hilary

Patsy said...

(((Hilary)))

What lovely memories you have of your mum. She sounds an incredible person - much like yourself.

I hope you have a wonderful time in Scotland.

Julie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Hilary, and sorry too that I am just now seeing this post. I'm so glad your mum went peacefully, and you can be so proud of the care you gave her. I'm glad you have so many wonderful memories of her to treasure, she must have been an amazing lady.

I hope like you say she is now having some good times too, free from any pain and suffering. Sending many hugs and good wishes to you and the rest of your family. *hugs*

Take care,
Julie

Carol Kilgore said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mother! I can tell you're thankful she was in your life for as long as she was.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Patsy .. many thanks for the hugs and your thoughtful comment, Mrs Davies! I shall enjoy Scotland - thank you ..

@ Julie - no worries .. summer is always a busy time. I'm so lucky to have had these last few years and to be able to share mother-daughter time .. it has been very special. I learnt a great deal from the experience and from her attitude to life.

I'm sure she's around watching and reading all the goings on and supporting us still. Thanks so much ..

@ Carol - many thanks .. lovely to have you here .. and yes I've been fortunate to share so much with her recently ...

Wonderful to see you Patsy, Julie and Carol .. thanks so much - Hlary

Inger said...

Dear Hilary, What a wonderful tribute to you mum. And better than that, you were there for her all these years. Laughing together, coming up with travels for her enjoyment, Cornwall, Valparaiso, and all the letters. That is so beautiful, she was blessed to have you in her life. I'm so sorry for your loss. Sending hugs, Inger

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Inger .. thank you so much - my mother instigated many of our ideas - I just expanded on them ... and gave us both some very happy moments. Really appreciate your hugs - you've had so much going on in your canyon .. with thoughts - Hilary

Soul Dipper said...

Hilary, I just learned the news of your mother. Your description of how you are dealing with your grief brought back a bushel of memories for me. Imagine that delightful spirit surprising everyone right through to her new beginning.

What an adjustment you must be managing at the moment. We'll have the opportunity to learn where you lean and how you are embracing life under a new set of directions.

Many blessings, Hilary, and I look forward to walking on with you.

Talli Roland said...

Oh, Hilary, I'm so sorry to hear about your mother, but what a wonderful tribute to her. She sounds like an amazing woman, strong and brave.

I'm so honoured that you mentioned my blog here and super pleased you enjoyed writing that post.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Amy - many thanks for your email and the comment .. having travelled such a long journey for the last 5+ years I am remembering those good times - and boy, was she courageous in her spirit - so I'm sure she will continue on now .. as you say in her new beginning.

Thankfully I am fine and have great friends around the world .. and all our wonderful blogging friends ... so as you say I will adjust and move on and most definitely will embrace life ahead ..

It will be fabulous to have you alongside me as I walk on into my new life ...

@ Talli - so many thanks - and am delighted you enjoyed the tribute - as you say she was strong and brave as well as amazing ..

I totally enjoyed writing about Mary Wollstonecraft and it fitted so well with your web splash for your book .. "If I could be anyone I'd be .... "

Thanks so much Amy and Talli for coming by - lovely comments - cheers Hilary

Stephen Tremp said...

How cool to see a place at Kensington Palace, the official residence of Lady Diana. I Googled the place and what a rich history it has.

If you run into the Queen of England, please say hello to her for me. Thanks, and enjoy your time there!

sue said...

thankyou so much for this post Hilary. I've been wondering how things were going with your mother. It brought back bittersweet memories for me, and made me wish I'd been blogging throughout my parent's illnesses. I think it would have helped.

Your posts and obvious love of your mother and joy in sharing with her, have been a joy to read. Forging a new path will be interesting and hopefully blogging will be integral in some way. Be kind to yourself, enjoy your holiday with friends, make space for a new future to evolve.

Sending love from across the seas.

Sue

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Steve - it was a lovely day out and a time to remember my mother with a great friend ... while seeing a spectacular show that she would have loved to hear about.

Sadly .. I didn't run into the Queen - but she'll be at the Olympic Park tonight .. I won't be though!

@ Sue - I've been very lucky that I've been blogging - it's made so much difference during both my uncle and my mother's last years - and has been even more special as they both were amazed and so interested in what I was doing. My mother was fascinated that people from the around the world were interested in how she was ...

I think probably I'll continue on as I have been - certainly I keep thinking in that direction .. my thoughts relate to what my mother would have liked to hear about - now I will have more time and freedom to develop other ideas.

Many thanks for your thoughts - much appreciated ..

Cheers to you both .. Steve and Sue .. and have good weekends and enjoy the Olympics from today on .. Hilary

Glynis said...

Hilary, for some reason this post was sitting in my gmail spam box! I am so terribly, terribly sorry to read of the passing of your mum. She sounded an inspirational woman, and left a wonderful legacy - you. I do hope your memories give you comfort on sad days. Hugs, and may you have rainbows in your clouds. x

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Glynis .. Blogger I give up on - things go all over the place ..

Still many thanks for coming over .. and your words of 'me as a legacy' - is something I hadn't thought about! That makes me laugh .. I think I'll always be laughing as Mum and I in these past years were always laughing at the vagaries of life - and turning thoughts (usually) into big jokes - thankfully.

Yes - there are big rainbows around and will be for a long while yet - thanks so much for coming by and the lovely words .. Hilary

Melissa Sugar said...

Your post truly touched me. I am very sorry for your loss, but also inspired by the closeness you shared. It is so difficult to lose someone so precious even when it is expected and even when we are at peace. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I am very close with my mother and there was a time a few years ago that we struggled and I was afraid we would never find our way back to one another. Luckily we have and I treasure our time together.

Today is my father's 82nd birthday and I have been away from my blog for a while so I am just now reading about your loss. It has encouraged me to make the most of the time I have left with him.

It is wonderful that you can live knowing that you have no regrets. Too often people do not realize or appreciate the the special moments with their loved ones. Too often people die and we are left with regret and sorrow and wishing we would have made sure they knew how much we loved them. It must be a comfort to know that nothing was left unsaid between you and your mom. She sounds like a wonderful woman and you are fortunate to have had such great and fond times together as those memories will carry you through the difficult days.

God bless you. You are an inspiration to all. I hope your post will encourage anyone who has not forgiven a loved one or apologized to a loved one or reminded a special person just how much they mean to them to do so and to do it now.

Take care,
Melissa

Rosalind Adam said...

Dear Hilary, I'm so sorry to read about the passing of your Mum. However much a death is expected it's never easy. You've been a wonderful daughter but now you must make sure to take real good care of yourself, especially over the next few months. Don't be too hard on yourself. I'm still grieving for my Mum over a year on. We never stop missing our Mums. My thoughts are with you.
Love Ros

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Melissa - many many thanks for your wonderful comment - I am so pleased you're relishing your time with your mother - and will be spending those extra moments with your father - a belated congratulations to him for his 82nd birthday.

We do what we can with our lives .. and sometimes those 'strings' pull together at the end - life has not been easy ... but having had these past few years with so much happiness - that over-rides all the challenges we had along this last chapter.

I do hope the post and the blog in general will inspire and that will be a huge plus as far as I am concerned, just delighted to know you believe it will.

@ Ros - I know I thought of you and your mother .. I honestly believe I am lucky and am not grieving and probably won't ... I've done what I can each and everyday - I'm lucky I've had the ability to do so.

Obviously I will be/am very sad, and the emotion rises rather often - but that's as it should be.

I've learnt so much and this is helping greatly ...

Thanks so much Melissa and Ros - your caring thoughts mean so much ... with peace to you both - Hilary

Martha said...

So sorry to hear about your mom Hilary. You have a beautiful tribute to her here. ((Big Hugs))

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Martha .. many thanks for stopping by .. good to see you and lovely to have the hugs! Cheers Hilary

D.G. Hudson said...

Sorry to hear this news late, Hilary. My sympathies. Your mom sounds like she was a great lady to know. Anyone who keeps their sense of humour as they age is someone we should model ourselves after.

I've been there, and it still hurts to think about my mother, but I got to see her one month before her passing. I thank my sister for that.

I found out about your mother when I read your post on the Olympics, which we are watching. Have a lovely vacation, and please do keep blogging. You have such a beautiful attitude.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi DG .. summer is a time for many things and I know people are busy or have other challenges - delighted you're here and commenting: thank you.

She was a model patient - how I have no idea .. but it must have been faith, courage and strength of mind .. I was very lucky. Also the fact I had these past five years ... while so many have so little time - just glad you did manage to see your mother before she passed on ...

My mother would have loved the Olympics .. she was very sporty - but Hardwick and I will quietly watch together ... remembering past times.

I shall continue on blogging - no fear there .. many thanks - Hilary

Annalisa Crawford said...

I missed this post Hilary, but just wanted to say your post is a wonderful tribute to your mother. She sounds like an amazing woman.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Annalisa .. many thanks - so pleased you enjoyed the post ... my mother had many attributes - we were blessed in so many ways ... good to see you - Hilary

Susan Blake said...

Hi Hilary,
I'm sending you many hugs. It's always sad to lose a mom - mine has been gone for almost 27 years and I still miss her. Enjoy your travels - and especially all the Olympics! Take care of you now!
Hugs
SuZen

Frauke Schramm said...

Dear Hilary, I'm so sorry to hear your mum passed away. I'm sending you a big hug !! She must have been a very special lady, and she was lucky to have had you as her daughter. Enjoy Scotland - and as so many others already said, please do take care of yourself, please ???

Linda said...

Hilary, I am so sorry to read of your mother's passing. I know you have been a devoted daughter and you and she have shared some wonderful times in these last years. Still, it is a difficult thing to lose one's mother. Take care, and treat yourself kindly.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ SuZen - how lovely to see you - yes my father went many years ago and I certainly miss him.

I'm enjoying my Scottish visit - even found a library with internet access! Found some great historical treats around here .. and I will take care of me .. thanks for the thought.

@ Frauke - many thanks for commenting re my mother - it is very sad .. but we had a good few laughs during her recent years .. I am enjoying Scotland - and have been able to come through my mother's illness relatively unscathed and as you say can concentrate on me for a while ..

@ Linda - you're right we've been lucky to have shared much together, which has made her whole illness - so much more tolerable - thank goodness. She is the last of the line .. so it is time for this generation to take up the mantle of being old and wise - old yes, wise I'm not so sure!!

Many thanks for everyone's wishes for me to look after myself - I am and after October I'll have some more time to recover .. and sleep - looking forward to that!

Cheers for now - Hilary

Jannie Funster said...

Much love to you Hilary. This is your most beautiful post ever.

I hope your Scotland travels are happy. Look forward to your return.

xoxoxoxo

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jannie - many thanks .. I appreciate your thoughts here ..

Scotland was lovely - big hugs back to you ... xoxox Hilree

Tina said...

LOVELY tribute. I "just met you", but in this post I learned so much about you and your beloved Mum and your relationship. You're a remarkable woman, Hilary, and I'm honored to be your friend.
Tina @ Life is Good

Shiwangi Peswani said...

Wonderful post Hilary. Mothers are next to God. No matter which country or which race you belong to Mothers are always great.
I am a mom of two and I started believing in greatness of motherhood only after when I realized that it is the most difficult job to bring up the kids well :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shiwangi .. delighted to see you and yes mother's sure are special. I don't have children, but certainly understand what you're saying .. a loving home is the essential - and I'm sure you provide them that, and with plenty of love.

Enjoy your family and their time as they grow ... cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. just sorting out blogger's back office and found your comment - sorry it's taken me a while to get back here ...

Your comment and thoughts are just wonderful - I'm so appreciative of them ... and I look forward to many other conversations elsewhere in the blogosphere ...

Cheers Hilary