Tuesday, 6 April 2010

A tribute

I see my blog mainly as somewhere to post my artistic efforts and keep in touch with like-minded crafters, rather than as a personal diary. However, since what talents I may have in that direction came to me from my parents, I feel that this is an appropriate place to pay tribute to them.

My father passed away on Good Friday morning 2010, after a long illness. He was the sort of person who enjoyed helping others, and gave unstintingly of his time and energy in doing so. Born in 1922, he was brought up by a stepmother (his own mother died when he was just three) and though he won a scholarship to art college, she would not allow him to take it up but made him go straight out to work when he left school at 14. It was then that he met my mother, also aged 14, at their local church in Leeds, when he was in the harmonica band and she in the church choir. My mother then also joined the band, and over their lifetime they gave pleasure to many with their music. I have fond memories of family get-togethers with mum & dad on their harmonicas, & mum's uncle on the piano, and all singing along to the old music hall songs which they loved. It was often embarrassing when I, from the age of 8 or so, was also made to do my "party piece" on the piano in front of the assembled company, but I have them to thank for encouraging my love of music, leading to my subsequent career.

They became engaged at 17, and married at 20, in 1942, only to be separated for a while because of the war. Mum was a Land Girl, posted to a farm in Somerset, while Dad went to Orkney as an aircraft fitter and then South Africa with the Fleet Air Arm. After the war Mum went to join him in South Africa and they would probably have emigrated there had not my mother's father become seriously ill, causing their return.They set up home in Leeds, and when I and my sister and brother came along they provided a secure and happy childhood for us. Dad worked his way up from shop floor to become MD of an engineering firm, and Mum, once we children were old enough to be independent, ran a highly regarded playgroup for 3 to 5 year olds.

Sadly my mum's retirement years were blighted by illness, firstly severe arthritis, resulting in two hip and one knee replacements. For as long as she could she kept busy, making floral displays and various other craft items which she gave to local charities for them to sell and raise funds. Then she was stricken with bowel cancer, needing emergency surgery, from which she made a miraculous recovery. It was therefore a great blow, some time later, to learn that she had developed Alzheimer's disease. Dad looked after her all this time. She could be a difficult patient, but he never complained. It was not until he too, devastatingly fell victim first to Alzheimer's and then lung cancer, that we were able to persuade him that he must accept help. They went to live with my sister, and even then Dad insisted on doing as much as he could for Mum. Despite their troubles, they both continued to delight in their family, including grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Mum's passing away in January 2009 I think hastened Dad's own. He simply did not know what to do without her, hardly surprising when they had been together for a remarkable 72 years. Their partnership was an example and inspiration to many people, and they will be greatly missed by many, who will remember them with gratitude.


Lisa Jane said...

So sorry to hear your sad news , am thinking of you. Your tribute to your parents is wonderful.
What a lovely couple - and a lovely family.
Lisa ;)

Sally H said...

It's a beautiful tribute. I'm so sorry to hear your news. Love to you, Clive and the family. If you need anything please call x

chris said...

Hi Lynne
so so sorry to hear your sad news, as Lisa Jane said it really is the perfect tribute to them. beautiful photographs of your parents lynne so special to have.
thinking of you and lots of hugs xx
chris xx

judith@poppy cottage said...

Hi Lynne, I'm sorry to hear your sad news, and apologise for my delay in replying. My Dad is poorly, so have been visiting him, and been away from home. Your Dad sound like he had an amazingly fulfilling life, and loved your Mum so much. He comes across as a lovely man, and what a lovely picture at the bottom of your post.I'm thinking about you, Judith x

lisa said...

Lynne. I was just sitting here thinking I hadn't visited you and may have missed you and I'm so glad I checked. I'm so sorry I haven't posted sooner and am so sad to hear your news. Your tribute to your parents is wonderful, what amazing lives they led. Thank you for sharing your memories and your photos and I'm thinking about you and sending you and your family lots of love at this difficult time.


Cath Wilson said...

I'm really sorry to hear your sad news, Lynne. It must have been (and probably still is) a traumatic time for you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I hope that in time, the precious memories you have will become a reason to celebrate and not to mourn. Bless you!

Jules said...

Hi Lynne

So sorry I about your sad news - and also about not visiting sooner.

Life is a blur for me at the moment and yet coming across such a beautiful post as this makes me realise that we shouldn't let life "take us over".

We need to make time to create "special moments" with our loved ones .. .. otherwise the chance will pass us by.

Thank you for sharing such a personal and yet special heartfelt post.

I love your photographs - the one of your Mum and Dad at the end of your post is beautiful. They look just as much in love there as on their wedding day. I hope you have a beautiful frame to show it off in.

Take care Lynne it sounds like you had such wonderful parents.

Love Jules xx

craftimamma said...

Oh Lynne, it just shows how behind I am at checking my followed blogs. I'm so sorry I missed this post. You have been in my thoughts a lot while you have been missing from blogland and now I know why.

Your news is very sad and I'm sure you and your family miss your parents dreadfully. Your post was a wonderful tribute to them both and I'm so glad you shared it with us.

Love and best wishes
Lesley Xx

Jo said...

Oh Lynne, what a beautiful and touching tribute. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss but how wonderful to know so much of your upbringing and despite the hardships what a beautiful family you have. I had a tear in my eye reading your post.

You take,


Ikki said...

What a lovely tribute to your Mum and Dad. Although you must be very sad to have lost them, you have beautful memories to look back on and cherish. ikki x