This is a Guest post written by
an inspiring lady, a Barrister
and a Mummy, Cassie Williams:
It has been 2 years since you died mum. You were only 54. They say it gets easier but this year has been harder. I had a daughter last November, but I think you already know that. I felt you there as she lay in that incubator fighting for her life. I wished you had been alive to meet her. She is so beautiful. She has your eyes – those stunning big blue eyes that everyone comments on. And she has your laugh – she finds everything funny and throws her head back giggling. You laughed like that……
The last time I saw you there was a mixture of laughter and tears. We went shopping; you with your portable oxygen machine yet still so strong carrying the deckchairs you had bought for my garden. Just as I was about to drive back to Sheffield you stood up and burst into tears. You said you were worried how we would all cope, that it wasn’t fair that I would be left without a mum. Did you know that you didn’t have long? Were you hiding pain from me?
I was in Spain when you died. I had spoken to you at 1am as you lay in my bed at home. We talked about the stray cat visiting our villa. We talked about our friends – it was normal for us to call each other many times a day and talk about nothing in particular. Did you know then that you were leaving us so soon? You had called and sent texts to lots of people that night………
You died in my bedroom at home. I am so glad you were at home. Dad heard your cries. He held you as you died. He did as you asked and did not try to beat life back into you. I am proud of him for that. He loved you so much he would never have gone against your wishes.
Ben called me that morning in Spain. My older brother sobbed down the phone. I came home that night; fell into dad’s arms at the airport. The next week was a blur.
I chose the clothes you wore. You always loved to look trendy so I hope that I chose well.
Did you hear me that day in the toilets at the crematorium talking to you? Bet you were laughing at me, half drunk on gin. Hundreds of people came – did you see them all? Did you have to stay friends with ALL my ex boyfriends?! And my old teachers?! Typical……
I hope you loved the songs we chose. A few eyebrows were raised when Guns and Roses was blaring out!
It is so strange for me to have friends now that never met you. I try to tell them what you were like but they will never see how gorgeous you were. They will never watch you dance and laugh. I want them to know you. You were kind. I don’t know anyone else like you. You bought food for my friends who couldn’t afford it. You baby sat for my single mum friends. You took care of the elderly people in our village. You decorated the flat of a friend who was depressed. You carried on this kindness even whilst you were dying.
You were naughty too. I'll never forget how embarrassed I was when we saw a Crown Court Judge in town who you were due to sit with the next day as part of your magistrates duties. You asked this extremely posh man what flavour condoms you should bring to the hearing! He snorted with laughter!
Men loved you…..
I still wear your clothes. I know that people find it strange but they don’t know what we were like, always stealing each others new clothes and claiming them as our own.
Do you hear me mum? I talk to you all the time. I ask for your advice. I cry every morning as I drive to work. I feel so sad. I have kept my mobile telephone with your final text messages on. I beg for one more day with you.
I have so much to say….
Mum I want to be like you. Your father died when you were just 12 years old and you always said that you would not let the bitterness eat you up. So I won’t either. I will be grateful for my time with you. I will cherish my fantastic dad. I will look after grandma and Ben for you. Most importantly I will try to be the best mum, just like you. Sleep well mum and keep listening xxx
Take a good look at my face,
You’ll see the smile looks out of place,
If you look closer it’s easy to see
The tracks of my tears
Penelope Anne Williams 21/5/1954 - 29/8/2008
Lydia Penelope Palmer-Williams born 11/11/2009