To my mother, Valerie: Thankyou and Farewell

About nine weeks ago, my mum died. About six weeks ago, it was the funeral. Although now may seem like an odd time to feel like I want to make a bigger deal of remembering her, the timing seemed quite appropriate.

One of the last things my mum did together with my dad before the stroke that caused her death was to make Christmas Puddings. She (or she and dad, after the first stroke seven years previously) would always make an extra one to give to me, as I live alone. (And they keep for a while, so I have them bit by bit over January)
Last night I had the last piece of it.

It was nice. (I love Christmas Pudding!)
And I just felt I needed to say something regarding it. Because, to me, it’s a bit of a big deal.

Mum would always make the Christmas puddings and, because I enjoyed bit of cooking when I was a child, it’s one of the things mum would let me help out with. When I was a bit older, I would actually do the bulk of the mixing myself and mum would handle the pressure cooker side of things. But when I finally moved out, it was back to mum always making them.

It was a part of her pre-Christmas tradition. OK, she’d make them in November but it was an important part of the lead-up to Christmas. After her first stroke in 2011, she wasn’t quite as able in the kitchen as she had been previously but she didn’t let that stop her. Dad, pretty good at cooking, anyway would help her out and the Christmas Puddings were no exception.

As the years since the first stroke took their toll and her mobility and fine motor control deteriorated further, dad would take over more and more of the cooking. But Christmas Pudding was one of those things where she’ be in the kitchen with him, stirring the mixture and doing what bits she could. Because it was something that she’d always done, and it was still something that she could do.

So, last night, I had my final piece of “Mum’s Christmas Pudding”.

Thanks, mum. You started off my interest in cooking, and are a part of why I can survive living alone and am pretty capable in the kitchen. You started off my interest in typing, which grew into a part of why I lived using computers. You’re a major part of who I am today, and will continue to be so.