Jean was my Mum. Jean died last year, just before Christmas. Losing your Mum is one of the hardest things to go through in this life full of fateful twists and turns and losing mine was no exception.
It was a complete gut wrenching time. Trying to go through the motions and hold things together whilst losing a great pal and someone who had kept me laughing all my life was at times unbearable. It's true that you seek out signs they are still with you ( I've had loads) feel numb and empty, go over things to see if you could have done more and just exist in a parallel place to everyone else for a while. Many people told me to hold onto the memories. I didn't want memories, I wanted her but now those memories one year later sustain me and it's thinking of her that keeps her alive for me.
So if there are things I remember well about her they are her fun, laughter and ability to see things for what they were. Some of her insights and sayings about everyday life just still make me burst out laughing as I'm going about my daily life.
Many people with disabilities knew my Mum. They loved her as a friend and brilliant confidante. She hated housework and cooking with a vengeance but loved listening to people and offering her very insightful and often hilarious views. I don't think anyone ever left her company without smiling, even if sometimes that feeling was short lived when real life kicked in again. She was always willing to help , unless it involved anything like hard work and that would be delegated to Dad or me. She hadn't got through her tough life without learning to delegate better than Richard Branson.
So this blog is dedicated to her. In the toughest of times I'm going to always try and find something to say that she would have said. It does mean seeing "the naked emperor", because she was shockingly good at that.
Why was she so good? A tough early life, being the youngest in a big family ( well you have to make your presence felt) having a disability all of her life, having her own mother with a disability, four kids, connections with others through her paid work selling beds and her voluntary work, saving lives, hearts and sanity. That was never delegated, that was just and so absolutely her.
So here's to Jean, my Mum and a new blog commenting on everyday things that people face when they try and get decent lives and services. I was thinking about a conversation about Karma with her.
" Well" she said " little apples will always grow again!"
"What does that mean Mum."
" Don't know but it sounds good!"
That's what Jean would say " say anything, just make it sound good, they don't listen anyway!"
Jayne Knight - You Know adviser and founder