A family photo on the very spot where mum and dad’s wedding photos were taken.
End of an Era
Mum passed away peacefully on 24th March 2020 in her own room at Stones Place, just as she would have wanted it. She had not been poorly; she simply got more and more tired and gradually faded away. Pam and I spent much of mum’s final two weeks sitting at her bedside. Pam read extracts of her book to her, especially the parts covering her childhood. I reminisced about my childhood days with her, and the holidays the three of us had enjoyed in Scarborough. Those were a precious two weeks for Pam and I – and, I think, for all three of us.
I must note here too that the staff at Stones Place were wonderful. Throughout mum’s six years with them, their care was marvellous, and they genuinely gave her a new lease of life. In those final few weeks, they could not have been more compassionate and caring towards mum, Pam and me. We all lost someone very special to us that March night.
And how should mum be remembered? I will always remember her as someone who thrived in company, someone who liked to be busy, someone who in later years got very frustrated when her failing body prevented her doing things she wanted to do, someone who was kind and would always put other people first.
Let me finish with some eloquent comments from the sympathy cards we received from some of mum’s family and friends. This is how they remember mum.
‘I shall miss not being able to say [while] phoning or visiting when her eyesight deteriorated, “It’s Cecile, Aunty Kath, the littlest bridesmaid”. Her answer was always, “How old are you now?”, and the pair of us would have a good laugh about our advancing years. It was a little ritual and I’m sad it’s gone.’
Cecile, dad’s niece and mum’s youngest bridesmaid, 3-years old in 1940.
‘I was very privileged to have known her and learned of her many happy days. I will always cherish her stories of South Ormsby.’
Jacqui Rhodes, Housekeeper at South Ormsby Hall.
‘She was a very special lady. I will always be grateful for having been her neighbour and for her friendship, lovely sense of humour and the support she gave.’
Marian, former neighbour from Somersby Close.
‘I felt very privileged to have known her – what a great lady.’
Sara Perceval, the late Squire Adrian’s partner.
‘I feel so fortunate to have known her. I met her when she was over 100-years old [and] enjoyed her company enormously. Her stories of South Ormsby were fascinating but, I have to confess, it was her sense of humour and her laughter that made being with her a pleasure.’
Caron Ementon, Heritage Interpretation Manager, South Ormsby Hall.