|Grandmother aged about 24|
My mother's mother died when my Mum was 14 years old and I often wonder how that must have been for her having to deal with the death of her mother at the same time as she was about to have to leave home and go out into the world of work - in her case into service. I never asked her about it and now I wonder why not. I never knew my Granny of course and for that I am sorry as I know how special was the relationship between my mother and my daughter and wish I might have known a Grandmother's love too. What stories my Granny might have been able to tell me about her own life and indeed about my mother as a child but it was not to be. I am named after her and my daughter's second name is her's too so that she lives on in that way.
|My mother in her 20s|
Not until after her death did I really begin to think of my mother as a person with the same hopes, fears and emotions as me and for that I am sorry. How must it have been for her losing the only man she ever really loved and being left with me to bring up all on her own. She'd have lost her job of course - she was in service at the time in London and the stigma of being a single unmarried mother must have made life very difficult for her in the 1940s when such things were much more frowned upon. (For the story of her love affair see here)
|My mother and me in the 1940s. I can see my daughter in the above photo of my mother although I didn't take after her in looks at all myself.|
I know that I was fortunate in having a mother like mine - not all daughters grow up feeling so loved and in the knowledge that their mothers thought them "the best thing since sliced bread". If my memories are tinged with sadness it is no longer the all enveloping grief, which is surely a selfish emotion and directed more at how the death will affect us now that we are without the person we loved, but a regret that I didn't take the trouble to get to know my mother properly as a person and not just as Mum yet maybe even if I had asked her all the questions I now wish I had answers to she wouldn't have wanted to tell me for doesn't every woman have a few secrets kept hidden deep in their hearts which they don't want to share with anyone and perhaps least of all their daughters?
Many women hate the thought of becoming like their mothers I know but I must admit that when I hear myself saying something she might have said or find myself doing things she would have done I don't mind at all that I am becoming more like her - I could certainly do a lot worse! She was strong, independent, courageous, loving, generous and capable of making sixpence do the job of a shilling, which is a useful skill in these days of recession and one which I am glad to have learned at her knee! She taught me the real meaning of love and I am so glad that she was my mother! I wonder if my own daughter will be able to say the same about me one day - I do hope so!
Having gone off on this track I feel another "memories" post coming on - you have been warned!!