Part Two of 2015


Part Two of 2015

Part Two of 2015

And so on Friday afternoon, on the second blazing hot day in July, my Mum was laid to rest. It has been four months since she died and it seemed ever such a long time to be in limbo, but finally we watched as my Dad got on to his knees and lowered the casket containing her ashes in to what would be her grave.

It was a simple, beautiful service: just nine of us, all in bright colours. All carrying posies of pretty flowers and all so very willing to see this not as a time for mourning, but instead a celebration of a sorely missed wife, Mum, daughter and friend. A matter much helped when the geriatric vicar informed me that when it came to looks I had clearly drawn the short straw in the family stakes and our entire little party howled, while I informed him in minor outrage that I was both insulted and appalled and  he shuffled about apparently quite pleased with himself! One does not expect to be insulted at one’s Mothers burial now does one? But knocking a man of the cloth in to next week would very definitely have not been the done thing.

It is time to move on. Not from her memory. Never from her memory. But from the  petrification, such deep, unexpected mourning can inflict upon us. It is time for me to put the shock of betrayal on the scale Richard inflicted upon me to bed, and to accept that residing in prison is exactly what he deserves for committing the kind of heinous crimes most of us cannot even begin to imagine committing. It is time.

For I am lucky. I am so very, very lucky. My family is astonishing. This is a support network like no other and while they might just find the kind of insults geriatric vicars throw about willy-nilly absolutely hysterical and indeed feel free to chuck a few of their own about (my sister told me that my newly growing nails made my hands look like those of a grubby farmers wife), I feel their love every single minute of every single day.  We hold each other up. Helen cooks. And Dad laughs. And Barbie is silly. And the kids are wonderful. The men of the family, Helen’s husband Louis and Barbie’s husband, Steve, are solid, reliable presences in the midst of all our chaos and in Mum’s friend Carol we have a constant, lovely reminder of what friendship means, even after death.

And then there is my Ste. Readers this is what you need to know about us: we never stop laughing. Truly. I have never laughed this much in my life. And in the midst of all the laughing there are plans for the kind of tomorrows I have never made with quite so much certainty before. It feels right. And I know my Mum would love him as much as everybody else does: that she could breathe the sigh of relief I long knew she was waiting to take. If only she had met him. If only he had met her….

Today Finley went on his first little holiday with the school. He is growing up and I am trying not to be spooked by it. On Friday he will enjoy his last day at primary school and when he goes back he will be at high school. I can’t imagine where the time has gone and I am so very aware that this is the last Summer of his childhood and that hereafter he will become the someone he is already halfway to being.

This then is a Summer of change. A hectic Summer jam-packed with holidays to Whitstable and weddings in Lincoln and Liverpool. There will be camping. And hours spent wandering in dank forests with the dog. There will be barbeques in the back garden, cider and frozen mojito’s. There will be pyjama mornings for just me and Finn. Nights sat under the fairy lights, in the back garden, just me and Ste. And entire weekends, like the one coming up, spent in Oxford with Helen, her family and my Dad.

This then is a Summer of change. Summer just as it should be.

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12 comments on “Part Two of 2015

  1. It is good to have these pauses and stops and to breathe farewell with love and joy. And I am so happy to hear you sounding more like you. Farewell to your Mum whom I never met but who did well in bringing you up, and hello to the rest of your life; enjoy the summer with your big lads!

  2. Chelle on said:

    Aw Ali, you just made me cry. xxx

  3. Janet Nixon on said:

    So beautifully written as only you could do, I wish a wonderful summer for you and your lovely family xx

  4. Lynn Dirk on said:

    This was such a sweet breath of summer post. I laughed and sighed and thought of my own summers past, and my mom, gone too long now. About how I love people of the cloth to have a sense of humor as I KNOW God must! But my main thought is that I wish you would write a book about your life. I would be so riveted and I’d love to know the particulars (oh nosy me). I know I’d laugh and cry and root for you and Finn. Finn! High School? Gads I am headed for a cane and walker sure as I’m reading this then. Where does the time go? Fleeting. Hugs

  5. Dawn on said:

    Oh. My. God. I can’t believe the vicar said that to you! At first I was flabbergasted and then I laughed. That could only happen to you.

    I’m glad you have Ste in your life.

    Richard’s in jail for something heinous? I guess it’s safe to assume he’s not convicted of something like embezzlement. My mind has of course jumped to the worst a man can do short of murder so I hope he never hurt Finley.

    And speaking of Finley, time really flies, doesn’t it? Gosh, I can remember reading your blog when he was still a baby.

  6. Cindy on said:

    If you were here I’d give you a hug. I just know deep down that we’d be friends. I hope the rest of your summer is wonderfully kind to you, oh, how you deserve it.

  7. Well I am pretty certain that your lovely Mum is looking down happily on you all Alison,So happy for you and Ste,and I feel for sure your Mum had a hand in orchestrating this one! Xx

  8. Bibi on said:

    I’m sorry to hear that your mum passed away Alison, I
    I haven’ t been to your blog in a long while, in fact Pinterest and your new book brought me back, the image of it just came up on my feed so I was curious to see was it was all about. Your writings have helped me in the past when way back I was getting over my own Mark leaving home, and I was impressed by your ability to put your feelings into words. Your gift will surely help you through this. All the best to you and your family. By the way, Finley was a Curly headed little babba the last time I checked in, how time flies…….. Xx

  9. A beautiful post from a beautiful woman. Cheeky vicar.

  10. I like the way you sound lately. Like you’ve come out of a very long, dark tunnel and found there is sun and family and hope at the other end! That makes me so pleased for you. I’m looking forward to seeing what unfolds now.

  11. gayle on said:

    I have never commented before but I have read you for a very long time. This post was so lovely, thoughtful, funny, poignant and so on and on. You do have a gift for putting us in the picture. The vicar! I agree that you need to write a book, Your life is very real and you are amazing.

  12. Shirley on said:

    Alison, I have been with you for years, I admit lately I’ve been in the background, and the Broncante way is a dream of mine. I love reading your blog, the ups and downs of life and I have to say this is one of your most beautiful posts,