On Friday, 18th November, our Mum passed away - she was 92 years old.
It has been eight years since I came home to take care of her and that time just seems to have slipped away very easily. It has been a privilege to share the twilight years of her life with her.
Two of our brothers have been with us through the last days of Mum's life and it has been lovely to sit around the table for our main meal of the day as, inevitably, our conversations have drifted towards our Mum.
We have had a lot of laughs as she did bring fun into our lives with her interesting characteristics.
She was a very knowledgeable lady who loved to read, loved her music, watching Coronation Street from inception, loved the garden, New Zealand politics and keeping tabs on her ever growing family.
To the best of my knowledge this is the only photo we have of all of our family together.
From the left, Norman, yours truly, Dad with brother Bob sitting in front, then Linda, Mum, Barbara, Wendy and Alan.
Even in those days we were considered to be a large family and our Mum did well to bring us all up and keep us well occupied.
One of the things she instilled in us to keep us occupied was a love of reading. The daily newspaper was always there for us as well as a weekly supply of comics and magazines. Comics were frowned upon by school teachers in general in those days but Mum saw it as another means of encouraging us to read which it certainly did. You could always find a book to read and we all had our own personal favourites.
She also loved to provide puzzles, games and, in latter years, cryptic crosswords.
To this day if you were to observe our family life you would invariably see one or more of us reading, doing a crossword puzzle, in the garden or occupied with craft - all peacable activities which have contributed to us being a self reliant happy family cluster.
Thank you, Mum, for the richness you have given us in the lives that we lead.
Rest in peace - you deserve to!