Monday, 16 April 2018


When you embark on a challenge like Fortycubed it doesn't matter how confident you may feel, it is vital to have someone who will always be in your corner; always encouraging you and always believing in you.  I began this blog with a post about my mum without any thought that during the Fortycubed year I would also have to say goodbye to her best friend and sister, Ann who over the last 20 years stepped in as surrogate mum to me and surrogate Granny to my children.

We all miss Ann terribly.  It was only after she died I reflected on our 40 year relationship and realised that we had never argued.  Apart from not being able to share more time with Ann, I don't have any regrets.  She was a bridesmaid at my wedding; held the fort through the birth of each of my children; she visited us every week; we took her on holiday and made the most of every moment with her.  Ann had a wonderful time at the Fortycubed Gala Dinner.  

Ann wore crazy colours and had an awesome jewellery collection.  She loved to play the recorder, the ukulele, to sing and to read.  We had a shared love of listening to The Archers.  Ann taught me to make her famous Lemon Drizzle Cake.  She sewed on all my children's club badges; loved me through my miscarriages having had 7 of her own; collected lost cuddly toys; rummaged through charity shops for anything black while I went through my teenage 'alternative' years; rebelled against me and bought a Netflix subscription for my teenager and also appreciated a good Snapchat filter!

In keeping with Ann's thoughtful and thoroughly kind nature, she left 'suggestions' for her funeral where I had the honour of being a pallbearer with her husband, son and my brother. In my grief, I have been comforted by the knowledge that Ann has as many people who love her on the other side of this life as she has left here on earth.  

Gone From My Sight by Henry Van Dyke

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."
Gone where?
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.

And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"
And that is dying...

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