Nearly four years ago, my lovely Mum retired and moved to St Ives from Bristol. To say I was thrilled is a huge understatement. I had just found out that I was expecting Olly, and I knew that I would need all the support I could get! I couldn't imagine a better place for Mum to kick back and enjoy a well deserved rest. She moved into a flat overlooking Porthmeor Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
She and my beloved mother in law became firm friends, and I have an enduring image of them walking together, heads locked in conversation, both wearing white linen trousers. They made each other laugh and I think they shared each others trials and tribulations during the short time their friendship blossomed. Sadly Di passed away a year ago, and Mum lost a true friend. I know that she misses her very much, and I also think that living in St Ives was not the same after.
But life goes on and my Mum put all her energy into her grandsons - all six of them. She is the kind of Nanny that always has a treat or two in her bag. She listens to their likes and dislikes, what toy they are currently into. She supports them in all their pursuits. She loves them all unreservedly.
She sat with me on the stairs at three o'clock in the morning, while I was trying to get Olly to sleep by the old controlled crying method. She made endless cups of tea, and was such a quiet supportive presence. She was company when I felt lonely. She was a brilliant charity shop chum. She encouraged me when I started gardening. We have shared an inordinate amount of coffee and cake together.
In short, she was and is a brilliant Mum.
And now she is moving back to Bristol. I think it's been on the cards for a while. She feels that my sister needs some support. And I think she misses Bristol too. Until she moved to St Ives, she had always lived within a five mile radius of where she was born. She Bristolian to the core. She is a down to earth, working class, labour voting South Bristolian and proud of it!
I am so sad.
Yesterday she gave me a picture of hers to keep. I was really touched. I will hang it in my bedroom, as a reminder of the time we spent together and became the best of friends.