THOUGHTS OF MUM
Seeing Mum curled up like a broken bird in a nest for these final few difficult years made it hard to remember the real Mum. Now she has escaped from the pain and indignity of those years, we can remember who she really was. And she was always so much more than she claimed to be.
Hydroplane racing was an obvious example. This quiet sweet mother of three became a demon, hurtling round a lake at 60 miles an hour in Wildfire, just “picking them off one by one”, as I once heard her describe it, one of only two women hudroplane racers in those days, and national champion.
Then there was the crash when the throttle froze open. Five year old
David and I watched from the car as she smashed into the bank, missing the great oak tree by inches, the boat disintegrating, the huge engine flying through the air past her head … and when someone was calling for an ambulance, she gasped from her winded lungs, “No ambulance, it might frighten the children”.
I don’t think she ever really liked sail boating, but I never once heard her complain, as every possible weekend was devoted to Dad’s favorite hobby. In the early years, packing up three young children and spending endless hours in leaky old Tarka, or being frightened to death in that high performance Dragon with its bucket and chuckit, or Tudor Rose who could make anyone seasick, or Pinafore, and all the rest. I never once heard her complain. She lived for Dad, and was selflessly devoted to his happiness.
What was left over was for us. Well, mainly for my brothers really, Michael Blesshim and DavidBlessHim. And the grandchildrenLittleDears.
But every now and then, just as in the hydroplane racing, she broke out of the mold, and you realized there was someone else behind that quite reserved and quiet exterior. I remember when out of the blue I decided to go to Istanbul for a few days, the furthest I could go for the least amount of money – and to my utter amazement she asked if she could come too. I had never known her leave Dad for any kind of a trip. She may have regretted it quite a few times during our jaunt, but she never once complained.
When Emily was born, she got on the first flight out of London to get to Boston, not even bothered to find she had to travel via New York and switch airports …. And what a lovely granny she was, always tactful, helpful, adoring. I loved her visits, never wanted her to leave.
I don’t want her to leave now. I wish all her great grandchildren could remember her as we– Michael, Jan, Veronika, Hugh, Jane, Sam, Graham , Rosemary, Dick and Peter knew her. She was our matriarch.
Sent by Anne on 14/02/2018
I am I and you are you, whatever we were to each other that we still are.
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
Life means all that it ever meant, it is the same as it ever was.
Extract from a poem by Henry Scott Holland