This is the anniversary of my Mother’s passing.

My Mum she gave me a love of the hills xxx

It’s been a difficult period just now for many. This is the month when my Mum passed away many years ago.

What would my Mum be thinking of today as we are in the midst of this virus? She would definitely be upset with the way some folk who do not listen to current advice from those in the know. The selfishness of a few is hard to understand and those who stock pile needlessly has always been around I am glad she is no longer with us to see what is happening. Yet she would be there with her words of wisdom for us all. She would find it hard that the family could not visit but we should look after our Mum’s very day not just on Mother’s Day and Anniversaries.

I always think about my Mum even more so just now. A while ago few it was the day of Women who Inspire my Mum is without doubt the lady I was always inspired by.

It has been many years since I lost my Mother, she died of Leukaemia an awful disease which she kept away from most of the family, and she did not want to worry us. That was typical of her and off her generation. It was only at the end I was told she was very ill. I was at RAF Valley in North Wales in a job as full time Mountain Rescue Deputy Team Leader and was living with my partner and her young daughter. As we are at that time in life I was caught up with my career, my life and very driven. I had always phoned Mum every week but she never told me she was ill until the last few days of her life when I was summoned home.

 I was shocked when I was called home as she was dying and to see her so frail and yet so strong in mind and still very beautiful. She wanted my brother home immediately from Bermuda and he just made it. She died three days later. Though in great pain she never complained and just wanted her family around. She was the kindness person I have ever met and I did not know how much she worried about me on the Mountains and Rescues.

My life in Mountain Rescue has led me to see many tragedies close up and I think I never really felt the effect of this great loss at the time as I was hardened by what I had seen in the mountains. It is a terrible thing to admit that I seemed to cut myself off at the time from the hurt and pain of her death. Even when I had to go back home straight after the funeral to North Wales and my partner tried to console me I was very hard to deal with, it was my way, to man up and not show the hurt I felt. I did get a few days to talk to my Mum at the end, we had a few chats even though she was very ill and I told her about my life in Wales, my new love and plans. She said as long as I was happy so was she.

Mum was the finest person I have ever met, she was so caring. She gave me along with my Dad a great chance in life and my love for the outdoors. She was the one who dealt with the five children a huge Manse the poor wages and a big house to heat and look after. The love we had been incredible and the adventures we had were life enduring. Long days on the hills, in Arran, Galloway and the Highlands a love of sport and she was an avid Ayr United fan both home and away! She loved the tennis and how she would have loved to see Andy Murray. She would have been so proud of Andy Murray and his brother in the tennis world and I believe she watches them in heaven. She did not have long with the grandchildren but they were her joy, how she would love to see how they have all done in life. Money was always tight in a big family she would give away her last penny.

My Dad was a minister old style he visited his people the needy, the sick and the dying every night, we rarely saw him.

Mum brought us all up and the work she did for the Church was incredible. At the end Mum was very upset that she felt that she could leave us nothing in the way of material possessions but she gave us all so many life skills I can never repay her. These last few days were very special and I will never forget carrying her to the bathroom and helping her near the end. She was so frail but so clear in what she said to me. To her I was the “wild child” of the family but she looked after me and was always there for me, it is such a loss in my life I feel it and still miss her and my Dad. It was such a pity as we all progressed in life we could have made life much better for them but it was not to be but what a legacy they gave us all.

Nowadays I worry as all many children are interested in is the financial legacy they may inherit and Mum and Dad are packed off to an Old Folk’s home. The Covid restrictions have meant so many have died alone. I feel that this generation have been left isolated. At least my Mum did not have that to deal with.

She was such a beautiful person in every aspect who loved us all yet had time to guide and be there for us. I shared so many secrets with her over my life and she was always there to listen when I needed! How she would have loved to see her grandchildren and their kids now. I would have loved her to have met all the great Grandchildren and Lexi and Ellie Skye and shared their lives!

I also got the love flowers and got that from my Mum so every few weeks I buy some or pick them and they always remind me of her. I have her deep love of the wild places and still feel her with me when out and about, what would she have made of today’s world, I wonder. Please look after those you love and care for.

Comments welcome.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Family, medical, Mountain rescue, Mountaineering, PTSD, Well being. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to This is the anniversary of my Mother’s passing.

  1. David Jarvis says:

    What a wonderful story, so sorry for your loss, I lost my dad aged 69 mum lived to 89, they brought me up in the right way, and believe they do look over you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim Higgins says:

    I really enjoyed reading that and can relate to so much of it. I have a picture of my mother somewhere when she climbed Ben Nevis with my Dad in 1958. She is wearing a skinny rib jumper, slacks and dolly shoes. The place they walked most was the leadhills and Galloway’s where they went to let the pigeons loose. I had a pic of me on goatfell with my wife and daughters and she told me that would be her dying memory of me. A boy with his rucksack in the wild places. She died in the Ayrshire Hospice in Ayr many years ago with her family at her side. Much of the stuff I write is quietly inspired by her and the one thing I managed to leave in her memory was a wee booklet of my poems. I published and sold this in aid of the Hospice which helped her to pass with so much dignity.
    I hope your memories continue to bring you joy, happiness and peace
    Jim Higgins.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Susan Garland says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your mother! I know she would be proud to see the legacy she has in you as you have spent much of your life in rescuing and serving others. There is no greater honor you could give her than a life well-lived as inspired by her. She sounds like an incredible person.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s a lovely tribute to your mum. My own parents moved to England for work in the late 50s and all her life she longed to return to the mountains and valleys of Scotland where they grew up. She loved the sea too and managed to relocate to a coastal area down here. But sadly she died vey unexpectedly, which was very sad for my father who had been with her for almost 50 years. It hit him hard, perhaps harder than the rest of us, but it’s never easy, and the memories we have are perhaps the most precious things we can now keep.


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