Some of you may be a little shocked by the title, and why wouldn’t you be? However, let me tell you about three fantastic ladies who mean the world to me.
Ever since I can remember, I have always been a great lover of life. Yes, it’s thrown many bad things at me and said “here, deal with that”, but my love affair with life has never ended or been anywhere near ending. I could simply ‘like’ life but, no, I have always adored life and will do so until my ‘sell by date’ comes along.
The other day I was thinking about my life and reliving some memories. I tried to remember what my first ever memories of life were that included mum. A few memories came to the forefront of my mind and the memory I am sharing with you all today is very special because it includes three wonderful ladies who I will never ever forget. So, let me take you back to a day I can remember and tell you what it means to me.
I’m sat on the floor in the huge living room of our house. In front of me is a big high dark wooden table and on top of that table I can just make out the brightly coloured yellow truck I had been given that day. The colour fascinated me and yellow became my favourite colour up until about twenty years ago when blue took over.
Sat at one end of the table, to my right, is the first of these ladies, my Grandmother, Nana Wallington. She looks down at me and smiles. She has thick black rimmed spectacles which make her eyes look huge. She’s wearing a green ‘pork pie’ style hat, which has two red cherries stuck to the side and is dressed in a velvet green two piece jacket and skirt. Underneath the jacket I can see a cream cardigan which is helping her keep warm and she wears some white pearls around her neck. Her lips are painted a bright red and she has a pair of black flat shoes on and beige coloured stockings. She’s quite a chubby lady and adores me as I am her first Grandchild.
To my left is the kitchen and in there I can see the back of the second of these special ladies, mum. She’s busy peeling sprouts and I wonder why she makes a little cross on the bottom of each sprout with the knife. I only know she is doing this because my Grandmother has told her to remember to ‘cross the sprouts’ at the base. I can see lots of steam coming off various pots boiling away on the stove and the house is smelling of a roast dinner. Mum is wearing a green flowery dress and has on a new pair of slippers which are tartan green and have a cream coloured fur inside of them. She talks to my Grandmother about how long it will be before the men come back from the pub.
Behind me I can hear a baby stir. It’s the third of these special ladies in my life, my baby sister, Jayne. I look behind me and over in the corner is a small artificial Christmas Tree which is lit up by colourful Victorian looking lanterns. I love looking at the red, green, blue and yellow bright lights. The tree is up on a small table to prevent me getting my hands on the chocolates which hang from some of its branches. There are no presents under the tree for everything has been opened, most of which is scattered across the living room floor.
Jayne starts to cry and my Grandmother gets up and takes a peek inside the carry-cot while my mother continues to peel sprouts. Besides me I notice a few selection boxes, one of which is opened. On the front of each selection box is a picture of Father Christmas in his sleigh being pulled by some reindeer over some snowy roofs and chimney pots of houses. Pictures of the various chocolate bars and sweets inside the box are also displayed on the front of each box. I’ve eaten most of the content of the open box to the dismay of my Grandmother who has told mum that I won’t be wanting to eat my Christmas dinner.
Up on the ceiling are pinned two colourful paper bells, one just above me and the other down the far end of the room. When taken down, unclipped, and closed up in a few weeks time, I remember how they both look like the shape of a boot, the type my mother would wear when going out. When taking them down my father would say how the shape reminded him of a country called Italy and that one day he would like to take us all there for a holiday.
My Grandmother and mum continue to talk while I play with the toys that had been delivered the night before. Mum eventually comes into the room with two small glasses of sherry and hands one to my Grandmother. Even though I am just coming up to the age of five I already know that these three special people are going to be the three most important ladies in my life.
The date is 25th December 1966.
In Memory Of Gwladys Elizabeth Hill, Who Sadly Passed Away On 15th September, 2015
I’ll Never Ever Forget You Mum
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