We were an unlikely pair. We came from two different countries, two very different generations, our life experiences were worlds apart but we bonded because we loved the same man.
Twenty-seven years ago I got on a plane and flew 6500 miles to meet a man I had only spent 31 hours with.
He picked me up from the airport and took me straight to meet his Mum.
I walked into her house and the biggest dog I had ever seen jumped on me.
I screamed and shook my finger in his direction and around the corner comes this tall, thin, poised, yet stern woman and in a staunch British accent she says:
“Don’t point at my dog!”
That was the first time I would meet my soon to be Mother-in-law.
I was terrified and certain I just made the worst impression ever!
I knew nothing about her culture and she knew very little about mine.
We both had preconceived ideas that were more stereotypical than true and now we were about to become family.
Over the years we battled, feelings were hurt, things were said but we kept trying and soon found we were more alike than different and we began to build a relationship.
We both loved the same man.
She loved him because he was her baby boy and she had high hopes for the man he would be.
I loved him because of the man he became.
He grew into everything she had hoped for in a son,
And everything I dreamed of in a man.
Vicky soon became Mum to me and as I grew, had my own children, and grew up a little myself, I understood her even more.
Mum was very strong, very honest and very loving. She taught me a lot about being a Mum, how to raise my kids, how and when to let go and to know that even when they are far away, they still love you, they just may not always say it.
She had a heart of gold and a loving, forgiving, beautiful soul.
We shared letters and conversations over the years that I will hold dear.
I told her this many times and but the truth is, I am a better “Mom” because of Vicky.
I truly believe I would not be the Mom I am today, had she not been a part of my life.
She was there for me when I needed her, and she was hard on me when I needed it.
She was not afraid to tell me off or set me straight and I value that honesty.
She told me many times she had always wanted a daughter and I truly feel blessed to have stepped into that role for a little while.
She raised amazing men and they are who they are today, because of her love and dedication to them.
I know she was extremely proud of both of them.
So today, as we lay you to rest Mum, we look back at your life and remember the beautiful woman who was an advocate for animals & people.
Your nursing skills brought joy and healing to all you met.
Your love for gardening and even feeding the scary little squirrels because, as you would say: “They are all Gods little creatures Kathy, we must love them too!”
Thank you for teaching me how to cook British food, your roast potatoes & yorkie puds are LEGENDARY!
Thank you for holding on to God and being that gentle reminder when I felt like I was falling.
Thank you for the greatest gift you could have given me & your grand babies.
Thank you for raising your son to be a strong, courageous, loving man.
My children and myself are forever grateful!
No more pain Mum, no more cold winters, no more arthritis.
No more agony of the last few months.
You are in peace now and although we miss you, I have a feeling God took you so young, because with all you did for others, he felt you deserved the gift of peace.
I love you and will miss you always.
God Speed Mum give Roly and Caesar a hug from me and put the kettle on, we will all be over soon.