Today would have been my Mum’s 95th birthday. The photo below shows her at her 70th, twenty-five years ago.
She died in March 2012, aged 87.
It was a hard and painful death, and very uncomfortable to watch, I assure you.
But then she had endured a hard life, with her teenage years spent during WW2 in London. Then in 1947, she married my Dad, and he didn’t give her a very easy time. She worked for most of her life, from the age of 14, until she was 75. She had a work ethic, and didn’t like to feel like she was being lazy. Despite my Dad’s numerous affairs, she stuck by him. Then when he finally left her for another woman, in 1976, she stuck by me.
After he was gone, she never once went out with another man, despite being the relatively young age of 52 at the time. She devoted her life to her family, her numerous pets, and to me. She worked hard at trying to run her own business, twice. When that failed, she got work as a housekeeper for rich people in the countryside. After that, she worked as a domestic cleaner, and did ironing too, right up until she reached the age of 75, and illnesses stopped her working.
She was a devoted Mum, aunt, sister, cousin, and friend too. When she died, not only family grieved her loss, but the community she lived in as well.
An accomplished baker, knitter, and talented on the sewing machine, there was very little that she didn’t turn her hand to, in a life lived to the full. She was political too, as a long-term member of the Labour Party, and a committed Socialist. And even at the age of 70, as shown in the photo, she cared about her appearance, and still held down three part-time jobs.
She was everything anyone could have asked for in a Mum. And in an aunt, sister, or cousin.
And she will never be forgotten, I promise you that.
Violet Anne Johnson. (nee Pallen) 1924-2012. Rest in peace, my beloved Mum.