It’s been just over a month now since my mum passed away.

I still feel numb about it.

When our guinea pigs passed, I was fairly quick in writing up a little bit about them; about the joy they brought into our lives – even Ragnarok, having had him just a few days.
I was able to fairly quickly sort out what I wanted to say about them, how much they had meant to us, and a bit about their little characters that shone through.

But for my Mum?
It’s not something you expect to write. It’s something you know that’s going to inevitably happen, but when it’s as sudden as this; you’re lost.

My Mum passed away in her sleep at the tail end of October.
We had just been to visit her a few days previous, to attend a craft show in Glasgow.
Other than her usual array of illnesses, she was in fine form – darting about the SECC and disappearing if you turned your back on her for a second as she scoured for crafty bargains.
If there had been any indication of something wrong… we’d have stayed there and made sure she was alright. But there wasn’t. There was no way of preparing for it. And that’s probably what hurts the most.

My Mum was an amazing woman.
She had to fight hard for what she had – either through circumstances, or through illness. She seemed to collect illnesses, with COPD, Asthma, and Fibromyalgia to name a few, but none of that stopped her from getting on with things.
My sister and I never wanted for anything while we were growing up. If there was a means to get it, we generally got it. And as ill as she got at times, she always managed to be up first, and have our breakfasts ready before school.. and our packed lunches too, if we wanted them. Considering she’d walk down the hall, get half way, and forget why she was walking down the hall in the first place, this was quite a feat.
But this stubbornness of not being put down due to circumstance or illness gave her so much strength… and this was channelled into her amazing craft work.
She’d do everything from cross stitching and tapestry work, to candle making, decoupage, sewing, card making, whatever… chances were if there was some form of crafting, she’d have looked at it or done it.
She did the wedding invites for both my wedding and my sister’s wedding… all beautiful hand made cards.
However there were times when that stubbornness was perhaps a bit too prevalent, as she was caught carrying two plastic storage shelving units onto a bus from town, with her stick… and at 61, with all the illnesses she had, that was quite silly of her, and I did get her into trouble for it! And then ended up getting her another couple of shelving units next time I was down… perhaps it was a sneaky ploy on her part?
We also found out that she’s been sitting on the top of the leaderboards for Germies for quite a while as well.. she kept that hidden from us!

And then there’s the giraffe…
The last weekend we stayed with her, she was wearing a giraffe onesie, and went out to her veranda to have a cigarette. This caught a few “jovial” chaps off guard while coming back from the pub, to which they exclaimed, “There’s an effin’ giraffe havin’ a fag!” which my Mum likely just smiled and waved back at them for. Having that fun sense of humour she had.

From the funeral and after service, it was made clear that my Mum thought the world of us, and spoke highly of us to anyone that’d listen.
She was proud of me and my sister, and our respective families. Of how we’d grown, and how we’d got through our own challenges in life.
I want to do her proud, and make the memory of her proud.

And I will.

I miss her terribly, and it all still feels so raw. But she wouldn’t want me sitting about doing nothing. She’d want me to get on with life. She’d want me to do well. And as much as there’s a lump in my throat as I type this, I will.
And I will do her proud.