Mum would have been 95 today. Born on August 2nd 1922 she wrote her own story back in 1999 after her mother died in April of that year and after the arrival of her first great grandchild in September. I attempted to write the rest in my eulogy for the celebration of her life in 2006. Now, nearly 11 years after her death and on her 95th birthday it is time to just remember her legacy. In 2008 I illustrated her story with all the photos I had of Gwen and copied it 6 times one for each grandchild but silly me forgot to get a digital version.
As I look over her life again it is incredibly hard to be brief. My mum was one big bundle of energy and dynamite wrapped in quite a small frame. As I read through her words again I see she frequently had to say ‘but that’s their story’. This is because she gave herself ‘hook line and sinker’ to her family; so her story morphs into what they did where they went and so on…….add to that more than 150 photos over 84 years. My eulogy is in the photographs below. This still does not capture the legacy.
The photos do start to tell the story except for the desire to be a runner 1936 county championships and the dream of playing hockey for England.
Six years of war and staying with in laws and saving every penny meant that at 25 she was seriously into family. At times she said it was all she ever wanted.
About the age of 33 she woke up and realised she would never play hockey for England and by 1957 was back working in the shop alongside her husband.
My brothers took the micky of mum ‘make do and mend’ her ability to use a lard box to make a baby box for me and cheese boxes up ended with curtains for bedside tables. They never realised what rationing did to their mum’s generation. How she made trousers for them out of the mens old trousers and dresses for me out of old dresses. I remember visiting her one afternoon at her retirement bungalow to find the threadbare curtains that she had replaced were now chopped up as place mats. Loved you mum.
Nothing was ever wasted we lived on dlo (old) food from the shop….if it was going out of date we ate it.
With us all married Mum and dad took up dancing and had 10 long years alone in their 6 bedroom flat. Soon enough the kids were home with there kids and Gwen loved the entertaining
Finally at age 68 Gwen was able to retire ha to care for Mother in Law Mother and husband she cared the nursed them all.
We love you and miss you