Wednesday, November 24, 2010

my mum

My dear mum, Patricia Ann P*, died peacefully on  Tuesday November 17th, 2010, aged 73 in Yorkshire, England. She was a  teacher, lover of literature, antiquarian bookseller, writer, pacifist, animal rights campaigner, Quaker and lover of the Hebrides.  She fought a courageous fourteen year battle with Parkinson's disease and her tenacity and spirit were an inspiration to us. My brother Jonathan,who lives close to my mother and spent countless hours visiting her, tending to her and advocating for her care, spent the last three days singing and reading to her, sharing stories and memories as she rested peacefully. He was accompanied by his partner Chayley and son Murray in his vigil and he was able to be with my mum at the end. 
Mum died on Isobel's one month birthday, and we had just sent her photos of Isobel which my brother showed to her and placed around her room. We were hoping that my mum could  meet Isobel in the summer when we were planning to visit.

When my dad died on April 17th 2008 I didn't have this blog and I didn't have Facebook.  I sent out a mass email instead. This time I put it on Facebook and sent out an email. It was comforting to get so many responses from people who wrote words of love and support. Especially being far away from most of my small family.
In some ways infertility played into my not being there for my dad's death and my mum's too. We  put off visits starting in 2007 when we were starting out on TTC. When my dad died I had let my passport lapse and had to beg the British Embassy to expedite it for me - which they beautifully did - in a matter of days. The last time I saw my mum was in April / May 2008 when we went over for my dad's funeral. TTC and cycles and waiting got in the way of that kind of long distance travel. And the thought was, we were going to get pregnant any day and it would be much more fun to visit with a baby than with a bump.  I wanted to visit in May when I was in my second trimester  but didn't because of my general anxiety about the pregnancy. Now I am a US citizen but one who has still not applied for a passport - because - well I have been busy.  I know that I couldn't get a US passport in a hurry and I also don't want to travel with Isobel when she is so young and vulnerable to viruses and germs. She has had a cold for the past three weeks as it is.  The doctor said I could do it, although she is not advocating for it, but I just don't want to. And I need to apply for my passport.

We are going to go in August as originally planned and have a memorial service for mum then.  We are going on a family holiday to the Isle of Tiree with my brother and his family and my sister. We will scatter my mum and dad's ashes on the island, which was one of their very favorite places on earth. My brother is planning mum's funeral service which will take place at the crematorium in my home town and then at the Quaker meeting that my mum was a member of for almost 40 yrs.  The service is next week, on December 1st.
I have so much other stuff to say - about being a mum, a wife, adopting our daughter, post partum depression, breastfeeding, etc etc. It is so hard to find time to blog. I read blogs while I am breastfeeding or holding Isobel but it's hard to write on the I phone.
I leave you with some pics - of my mum and dad, and of their sweet grand-daughter Isobel.
My mum and dad, Pat and Harry on our favorite beach on the Isle of Tiree, Caolas
 
mum, reading  in one of her favorite places - her garden
Isobel waiting to see the pediatrician for her one month appointment

Isobel on the table at the pediatrician wearing her cousin Murray's baby grow!




24 comments:

victoria said...

I am so sorry to read of the passing of your dear mum after such a long, brave battle. I hope it brought you comfort to know that your brother was with her.

May all the memories you have of her bring you comfort during your grief.

Hugs from here to there,
Victoria
http://itiswhatitisorisit.net/

glamcookie said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and sending much love. {{{}}}

babyinterrupted said...

Prayers for you and your family, especially being so far away. I hope you have lots of wonderful memories of your mom to keep you company - I'm sure you can see her in Isobel and in your own mothering, too. Peace.

Fran said...

Oh my friend I'm so sorry for your loss, I know even if she was unwell for so long, she was still your fantastic mom. She comes through in your description as one of a kind, one you want to meet in your life. I'm sending you big hugs and love from here. Fran

Mommy and Mamita said...

So sorry for you loss. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

Melissa said...

I'm so sorry about your mum and your dad. I know that they will both live on in the wonderful stories you'll tell your daughter about them. ((hugs))

Carrie and MJ said...

So sorry to hear of the passing of your mum. Thinking of you and your family during this time. Hugs to you all...

anofferingoflove said...

oh claire, i am so sorry for you loss. the picture of her reading is just gorgeous.

and isobel is gorgeous too, of course :)

insertmetaphor said...

Sending love.

rebecca said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you guys and hoping the memories you shared will bring some comfort. Wishing you strength as you grieve this loss.

kate said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I can understand a bit about dealing with overseas travel for loved ones. H's dad is in Germany, and we think often of how we will handle things in the event that he is hurt or sick (or eventually, when he passes away). H is an only child, and is from a rural area where the young people don't generally stick around, so it's not even like he could get friends to look in on them, etc.

Anyhow, I didn't mean to digress too far there, but just wanted to relay that I can imagine in small part how difficult it must be for you to be so far from your mother and other family right now with a young one. I'm sorry Isobel didn't get to meet her grandmother. I'm sending the finest and biggest hugs I can in your direction...

Illanare said...

I am so very sorry for your loss, my dear. Holding you in my thoughts.

IVF 40+ said...

Oh I'm so sorry for your loss. Your mum sounded like a top women.
So sorry
Em

Celia said...

I am so sorry, I will say a prayer for your family.

Trinity said...

I'm so genuinely sorry to hear about your mum's passing. I think the memorial service and Tiree trip in August sound like a beautiful way to honor her life.

I'm thinking of you guys and keeping you close in my thoughts...

Warm hugs to all of you...

tbean said...

Oh Claire--how saddened I was to read of your mum's passing. Sending love during this time of grief.

pleasantlyfurious said...

oh I'm so sorry to hear about your mom.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I am so incredibly sorry. My heart is with you.

areyoukiddingme said...

I'm sorry to hear of your loss...

Here from LFCA

cowgirltn said...

I am sorry for your loss.

bwub said...

What a beautiful woman. The photo of her reading in her garden is just lovely. I am so sorry for your loss. I know I don't comment much these days, as being a working mom takes so much time (as you well know!), but I wanted to tell you that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Love to you.

bwub said...

Isobel is a gorgeous little lovey, by the way!

lis said...

oh im so sorry. what a bittersweet year.

the loss of a mother is the only thing that scares me more than the loss of my children. hugs and much comfort to you.

and the dogs on top of it? to lose pet is heart wrenching, especiallu because they are usually with us until their dying day. we get to see them from little babies to these old souls.

thinking of you today
xoxo
lis

Billy said...

I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother.