The Three Ladies In My Life

I have always been a lover of life. Yes, it’s thrown many wrong 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 just ‘like’ life but, no, I have always adored it and will carry on doing 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 my first ever memories of life that included my mother. A few memories came to the forefront of my mind.

The memory I am sharing with you today is extraordinary because it includes three wonderful ladies who I will never forget. So, let me take you back to a day I can remember and tell you what it means to me.

I’m sitting 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 the table, I can just make out the brightly coloured yellow truck I had been given that day. The colour fascinated me and became my favourite colour 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 helping her keep warm. She wears some white pearls around her neck. Her lips are painted a bright red, and she has a pair of flat, black shoes and beige coloured stockings on. She’s quite a chubby lady and adores me because I am her first grandchild.

To my left is the kitchen. In there, I can see the back of the second of these extraordinary 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 ‘roast dinner’. 

Mum is wearing a green flowery dress and a new pair of slippers, which are tartan green and have cream coloured fur inside 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. Over in the corner sits a small, artificial Christmas tree lit up by colourful Victorian looking lanterns. I love looking at the bright red, green, blue, and yellow lights. The tree is on a small table to prevent me from getting my hands on the chocolates which hang from some of its branches. There are no gifts under the tree because they’ve all been opened, most of which are 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, 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 displayed on the front of each box. To my Grandmother’s dismay, I’ve eaten most of the contents of the opened box. She tells mum that I won’t want to eat my Christmas dinner!

Upon 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, 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 always say how the form reminds 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 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 will 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.

Mum & Hugh

© 2015 Copyright-All rights

177 thoughts on “The Three Ladies In My Life

  1. A cross on the sprouts..I still do that, passed down from my mum and her mum….tradition and memories and it’s those memories which will see you through those dark days..we never forget but learn to live with and memories are wonderful. So sorry to hear your sad news….

    1. Carol, thank you for your kind words. I don’t ‘cross’ sprouts anymore but that is only because I don’t do the cooking in our house.

      Memories are indeed very precious, especially at times like this.

  2. Your mom looks like a fun sort of person to hang out with! I was also a first grandchild and for a while the only girl thus foo-fooed over even though I was a tomboy!

    1. She loved fun and was such a sociable person, Jan. She was always at her best when she was around other people. That’s why she was a Publican for many years. She loved the job and was heartbroken when ill health forced her to have to give being a publican up.

      I would never have thought you were a tomboy.

  3. What a beautiful tribute to your mom, grandmother and sister. And I love seeing the picture of you when you were younger. I’m sorry that you have recently lost your mom but glad that you have these memories that will last a lifetime.

    1. Thank you very much. Your kind words are very much appreciated. I found the photo in mum’s house (along with many others). I’ve still got many more to go through. Some will probably end up here on my blog.

  4. Reblogged this on ronovanwrites and commented:

    Here is my #ThankfulThursday post and why I help on Hugh’s blog at times. Sure, if you look a the photo of him from days gone by we look almost like we could be brothers, but it’s the heart of this man that makes people thankful to know him.

    This post explains why Hugh was absent for a time.

  5. I’m really sorry to hear about your mum. It’s clear from the way you write about her that she meant a lot to you.

    I’m also astounded by how vividly you remembered this day. There’s so much detail there. I often feel like I can’t remember anything before I turned 10. It’s nice that you have such lovely memories to help you through what must be a very difficult time.

    Thanks for sharing them with us.

    1. Stacey, thank you so very much for your lovely comments.

      I think I can remember the details so well because Christmas has always been my favourite part of the year. Mum loved the festive season as well.

      It has been a difficult time, but the support I have received here on WordPress has been overwhelming and has helped me get through it so much. I can’t thank you people enough.

  6. Oh, dear, my dear Hugh. My deepest, deepest condolences on your mum’s passing. This was a beautiful recollection, absolutely stunning remembrance of your mum and grandmother (and little sister, too). If there’s anything I can do from afar, don’t hesitate to let me know . . . in the meantime, healing wishes to you and yours. Your loss is felt acutely in me, too.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Leigh. I’ve had so many offers of “if there is anything I can do” and I do appreciate all of them every much. Even without having met many people face to face on here, the offers of support have been overwhelming. I’m finding great comfort in returning to my writing and to the many bloggers on here.

  7. And so all becomes clear… Welcome back, Hugh. I think you can tell from the previous comments that you’ve been missed. The relief that you are okay is tinged with sadness for your loss.

    Great memories here that capture a moment in time, and show that your writing will help you – and the rest of us.

  8. So sorry to hear about the loss of your mum, Hugh, I really feel for you. Given your lengthy departure from blogging I guessed that something monumental had happened. Your wonderful tribute to your mum and the other two ladies in your life really reflects just how much you love them and how much they all mean to you. Take care, hugs to you, and condolences to all your family. Nice to have you back, I have missed you. Marje x

        1. They seem to be making a come back Marje, although I won’t be growing mine back. That picture is how I want to remember her. Unfortunately, Dementia took the latter part of her life away.

  9. Hello Hugh. I thought this was a really lovely piece of writing, and a wonderful tribute to three women in your life. I also want to pass on my condolences for your loss – I’m so very sorry, and I know this is a time when words just don’t convey the depth of emotion. Sending good wishes to you and your family xx

  10. I’m truly sorry for your great loss Hugh. It’s a devastating time and like this post a massive time for reflection. I’m sure you’ll always have the most special of memories to give you some comfort. I love your mum’s first name of course, who couldn’t since it’s Welsh. One day that blood may call you home.
    I’m sending Hugs for you.

    1. Thank you for your lovely words, David. Mum did not like her first name very much and was know as ‘Betty’ for much of her life. My step-father would call her ‘Gwladys’ when ever he wanted to annoy her. It worked! As for the Welsh blood calling me home – well I think it is already working as we have plans to move back to Wales full time.

  11. This is beautiful, Hugh. Such a lovely tribute. I’m so sorry for your loss, and I’m also glad you had such a wonderful role model in your life. She’ll always be with you. Hugs.

  12. I’m sorry to hear of the passing of your Mum, Hugh, but what a beautiful tribute you have written to her and the other lovely ladies. Take care.

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