Thursday, 19 April 2012

April 19th.

Corstorphine Hill, Edinburgh, taken from near the Union Canal, near Ratho.

Today was a special day for me and my brothers, as on the 19th. April, three years ago, our Mother died. We met up at Warriston Crematorium, where we perused the entry in the Book of Remembrance and each of us, no doubt, had our own thoughts on the meaning of the words that lay there on the vellum page. I will not repeat the words, as I think that they are our own and for us only but I am sure that they reflected our Mother's character and the legacy that she passed on to us.

We of course, do not need any book or other device to bring the memories of the person who brought us into the world, gave us our start and guided us as we made our faltering way through the ups and downs of life. My brothers, no doubt, have had their own thoughts and memories and I know that in the last few days, I have spent much time, thinking of her and our Father and being grateful for the hard work and the many sacrifices that they made, uncomplainingly, in bringing up their sometime not always appreciative sons. As three years have passed, I find that the painful memories of her last few weeks of illness and her passing are now falling into their proper place in the story of her life. Now, as each year winds it's way through time, we can rejoice in the the many happy and joyful times that we were blessed to have shared with our Mother and that legacy that we are honoured to continue and celebrate.

Our Mother had always maintained that, "apart from the deaths", she had had a good life. She always had a positive and happy attitude to life and showed a courage and strong resolution to that life and the problems and difficulties that fate threw at her. She was a widow for much longer than as a wife and with the death of our six week old brother from a cot death, our Father, still a relatively young man, passing away after many years of illness with kidney failure and the death of our other brother in a drowning accident, the winging and demanding parents of today would have much to learn from her strength and fortitude.

Each time our Mother made her own pilgrimage to Warriston, she always had a list of all of the good, happy and positive things that had happened in her life in the year since her last visit. I hope and indeed, I am sure, that seeing her three sons chatting happily over coffee and tea and cake, she would be proud, happy and content.

You may be wondering why a rather mundane photograph of an unassuming hill should feature above in this blog. It is one of the many hills of Edinburgh (there are supposedly seven, as in Rome) and Corstorphine Hill was our indicator that we where nearly home when returning from our travels. Our Mother enjoyed much pleasure from the woods on the top of the hill, walking our dog, meeting neighbours walking their dogs. Even when her fitness would not allow her these pleasures, she enjoyed watching, from her house opposite the woods, the regular dog-walkers and of course their dogs. She had always been very fond of dogs and would relive the time when she would meet with and share conversations with friends and neighbours as together, they all walked their dogs.

The hill is visible from much of Edinburgh and is therefore a constant reminder, as if one was needed, of our Mother and will always, for us, be known not as Corstorphine Hill but as 'Grannies Hill'.

Until the next time.....


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