remembering mum

  RDG and Soub's mum

Soubry is traveling to Wales for the weekend to meet up with Welsh family and his own siblings for a solemn occasion:  to scatter half of his mother's ashes on the cliffs where she walked in her youth.  March 23rd marked the one year anniversary of her death.  Simply put, I miss her.  The above photo was taken by Soub at our first 'outing' together:  tea at a lovely cafe in Oakwood, Leeds.  It is hard to believe that this photo is almost 5 years old!  But I remember the occasion well - feeling nervous and a bit intimidated by this petite lady with an ever present twinkle in her eye.  I had met her earlier in the week at her home and found her to be quite warm and welcoming.  Not once did she question my intentions (which were honorable!), where I was staying (love the British reserve), or even how I met her son (who is/was a favorite).  I am certain we circled each other a bit, taking one's measure, and thankfully found that we had much in common.

I loved to visit her and putter about in her back garden, pruning back, re-planting, and generally tidying her garden space.  She would make me tea, and we would sit in her small conservatory talking about plants and the weather (the Brits and their weather).  But best of all would be when she would begin to reminisce about her younger days in Wales, the war, marriage, raising 4 children, and of course my favorite subject, Soub himself!  Even better when she pulled out old photographs to share.  How she met Soub's dad is a wonderful story and oh so romantic.  I hope Soub shares it one day on his blog complete with the girly bits.  Over the last 5 years I developed a warm and loving relationship with mum.  We shared passions for reading, poetry, gardening.  She always had a little something set aside for me to take back to Texas: a little china box she had painted, or a porcelain cup with the Welsh dragon on it (she knew of my love for dragons!) I'd bring her books and poetry and photographs framed of Soub and I and eventually of my children as well.  Though she never met my kids, she always asked about them and was genuinely interested in our lives.

Soub and I always made it a priority to take her 'out for a day' during my visits.  A favorite was dining at the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham, North Yorkshire - a place in which the family owns 'shares'.  I remember one particular occasion there, it had to be during a Christmas / New Year's visit because I recall wearing about 4 layers of clothing as I am dreadfully unaccustomed to the damp cold of England!  Soub, being the naughty man that he is, was teasing me across the dining table unnoticed by mum.  Provoked, I responded by ummmm .... seductively licking my spoon.  When I glanced over at his mum, she was smiling and had an eyebrow raised.  I STILL blush at the memory.  I was caught red-handed, and Soub has teased me about it ever since!  That moment certainly taught me how to behave in front of a beloved's parent!  I became a model of southern charm and propriety after that event !!

Though my time with Soub's mum were small bits carved out of a busy modern life, I cherish those bits and the woman I came to know and love.  Not because she was my beloved's mother, but because she was a wonderful person in her own right who loved to laugh, to gossip, to share a cuppa, and who opened her heart and home to me.

I carry her in my heart always ~
with love


J Cosmo Newbery said...

A lovely story. And I do have this spoon licking image now that, disturbingly, wont leave me.

gz said...

glad you got to know her. She looks and sounds a lovely lady

Adullamite said...


Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

"Through The Garden Gate" has been included in this weeks A Sunday Drive. I hope this helps to attract even more new visitors here.


Anonymous said...

Very nice.


goatman said...

Its the old photographs which save time. I ended up with about 40 pounds of them from my mom. Weeding out the endless photos of flowers and the backyard in snowfall reduced the pile to a workable consideration.
Fortunately I was able to have her write who these people were on the B-side which helped in the process.

Wonderful memories

SL said...

Lovely, just lovely...your relationship and your post.

red dirt girl said...

thank you all for your wonderful comments and thoughts. i think the rest of the story belongs to Soubriquet. she was wonderful and wonderfully funny.


Lin said...

Sweet remembrances. Aren't you glad you got to know her? :)

red dirt girl said...

Hi Lin! welcome to the gate.

Sometimes there are memories we wish we could forget. Then there are memories we wish we could hold onto even while they are slipping through our mind's fingers. But best of all are memories of the heart. They stay with us always to be cherished.