Friday, 9 August 2013


    Anyone who knows me well is aware any email I send always carry the 'monica' Life. Thats what its all about, this 'existence, time on earth, this earthly adventure', call it what you will. We live and we die, simple. Some believe in more, but I tell you, if there's a God up there, he's taking the micky, having a laugh. You will grasp I guess from the tone of this post it been yet another 'funny old week'.
    My leg surgery is not going too well. Slow, painful with little progress in spite of the physiotherapy, I'm bloody fed up. I put on a brave face in the main, but even septuagenerians need reassurance at times. I try not to be mardy (do you use the word mardy down your way) but I confess I've been fed up  recently. But then I noticed the date.
    This week would have been my mothers birthday;  she died in 1953 aged forty seven. I've lived for seventy three very eventful years and I'm moaning. My mother died at forty seven, worn out through no fault of her own. I bet she was fed up at times but I never heard her moaning. She deserved so much more from life. My only regret in life is that she did not live longer so that I, being older, could have done more for her. It was 'payback time' that never materialised.
    On occasion I try to remember 'life with mother', but always with great difficulty. I certainly revolved around myself at the time of my mothers death. Are boys particularly prone to living in a world of their own I wonder? At times I cringe as to how preoccupied I was at the age of thirteen. Everyone of us has different experiences as we grow up.  These have some say, however subconscious in way we turn out, so to speak. I remember my mother in part for Little Miss Muffet Junkets. Also for the fact that she constantly emitted a 'humming noise' when she worked. An unconscious habit which I inherited; I am amused, many are mildly irritated.

'There was no greater love in my life than my mother. But it was a love not based on kisses and cuddles. Mary, my mother was far too busy, and often far too exhausted to show maternal affection in an everyday family sense. That she loved my sister and me was never in doubt. But a constant round of cleaning for various well to do families in the village, plus hours in between as a school cook was all consuming. Add ironing, home cooking, clothes mending and shopping and it was obvious that the burden was awesome in the extreme. On my mother’s death certificate, at the age of forty-seven it read, ‘cause of death, pneumonia’. It would have been more honest had it read ‘death due to overwork’.
There appeared in the Derby Evening Telegraph, on the 10th of September the stark notice informing of my mother’s death.
Stevens. Sept 8th 1953 at 24 The Ridings Ockbrook. Mary Elizabeth aged 47 years, widow of the late Ernest Stevens. Funeral at the Moravian Church on Friday at 3pm.
Neither my sister nor I attended our mother’s funeral; a statement that could be taken by the uninformed to suggest indifference, or lack of respect. The truth is we were not invited. Someone in their wisdom decided that a mother’s funeral was no place for children of eleven and thirteen. We were not asked our opinion, nor were the subjects of death, funerals or life thenceforth ever discussed. If they were, they were lost in the dreamlike haze that hung over me for many, many days, if not months that followed. I have no recollection of what I did that afternoon, but in a way that was the day I grew up.'
(From A Childhood Revisited"


Valerie said...

Thank goodness times have changed for modern generations. What we have to remember is that your mother had twice the work we have nowadays, since we have the advantage of modern appliances.

I hope you get some relief in your leg pretty soon, Ken.

CWMartin said...

I was about the same age when my Dad decided "Chris doesn't need to see mom like that". I too hope you start getting around better soon.

Star said...

Thank you for sharing this.

Mike and Poppy said...

Hi Ken.
My mother died in her late 80's. I happened to be fifteen years younger than my sibling. I had her almost undivided attention and I think I reflect all her hard work.
One memory I have is when my maternal grandfather died. I was 12 and mother used the experience to let me understand something about life and death. This included seeing grams in his coffin.

Here we are two grumpy old curmudgeons. Similar and yet so different in our formative years. I agree, this is not a rehearsal for something that's coming later.

More power to your pen.



Ginny said...

I hope your leg improves soon. I can only imagine how frustrating that must be.

I love that picture of your mom. She looks very pretty.

John Simpson said...

Ken - I'm learning more what makes you who you are! Do you see that when you are writing? Best Wishes John

Anonymous said...

Ken- It was a pleasure talking to you today on the phone, I managed to be at least somewhat helpful I hope, your main form of joy I recollect that I was indeed a person and not another machine. The blog itself has made an interesting read and your writting style is informative and captivating. I hope you take my good wishes and kind regards to heart and know that I will indeed keep up the study at university.

rhymeswithplague said...

My mother also died at 47, of cancer. 1957 was her year. I was 16 then, and I'm 72 now.

We're almost twins, except that my blog has 123 followers and yours has more than 1100.

I would say "I hate you" but that might be interpreted as rude.

Bitchy said...

Healing vibes coming your way from me. As far as mothers I am sorry for your lose, even if it was long time ago it must still hurt.

Deep breaths in and out and let the bad roll out with it. One of the things I do when I get worked up over life, stress, while any thing really. Some times it helps, hope it helps you.

PS. I love your writing but to be honest it was good to see even you have a dark side that hides most the time. I was begaining to think you was not human...;D

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