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There is no doubt that this is a strange and surreal time. We are all adjusting to a new way of life for the forseeable and the next few months will be a challenge for us all. What is particularly strange for me is that I no longer have my dear mum to talk to about all the chaos and uncertainty as she very sadly passed away last month after a short but aggressive battle with cancer. She was 80. Her health had deteriorated gradually after my dad left us very suddenly two and a half years ago and we all took it very hard.

'Getting old is no fun!' she kept saying to me, when her usually busy and independent life was being rather rudely interrupted by frequent hospital appointments for various things, and ultimately her skin cancer diagnosis in early 2019. It had spread to her lung at the end of last year.

She hated being a 'burden' and would tell me this when I was helping her with shopping and driving her to appointments. Well, she looked after my sister and I, ferrying us around for 18 years was our turn as the 'Sandwich Generation' to look after her, the person who brought us into this world. 'Go live your lives' we got told when visiting her in hospital that last week. I had never thought of my mum as being 'old' until then. She had visually aged 10 years quite literally in such a short space of time. It didn't stop her watching 'Casualty' of all things despite being in hospital herself. Always an avid watcher.

A proud woman with high standards, mum always retained a great sense of humour and could easily see the funny side of things. She always had our best interests at heart.

All these photos were taken by dad. These were the times I remember most fondly. When we were small, family holidays were spent regularly up in Arisaig staying in a static caravan. Mum, like dad, loved the sun and she always made sure that the red sun lounger was packed into the trailer alongside dad’s blue one. Many hours were spent on rainy days, playing games and dressing up with mum, who otherwise spent much of the week with her head in a library book. On fairer days mum spent a lot of time running away from wasps, cleggs and midges.

She was blessed with a wonderful life, having crossed paths with many, and she will be greatly missed by all those who knew her. RIP xxx

ps. Mum and Dad, you will most probably be looking down on us now and thinking, thank goodness we don't have to deal with it.

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