My parents used to mutter comments about the speed at which time passes as you get older and I had always believed it was simply something old people said.
However, I now find myself saying the same things, which leads me to believe one of two things: either they were right, or I’m now old.
I prefer the first option.
Anyway, I’ve had one of those “where did the time go” moments today: it’s been 15 years today since my mother died. So much has happened since then but there’s no way it feels like 15 years.
It was Father’s Day when she died and her funeral was a few days later, on my 30th birthday. And even though 15 years have gone by, I still think about her a lot — both my parents, in fact (dad died April 2, 2000) — and now that 15 years have gone by, those thoughts are all about the good times and not so much about how sick she had been before her death, or her failing eyesight or her frustrations at becoming so dependent on everyone as she became more and more frail.
My mum was a straight-to-the-point woman who had plenty of opinions and a desire to share them. She was also a lot of fun and was the person who told me some of the best dirty jokes I’ve ever heard, enjoyed a brutally competitive game of 500 or Scrabble, was partial to Bavaria Lager (do they still make that?) and black tea that had been stewing in the teapot for hours and adopted so many strays over the years it was hard to keep track (both animals and people).
I remember many, many years ago hearing her snort and snigger while reading memoriam notices in the paper, particularly if it was someone she had known: she was quite taken by the sugary sweet thoughts conveyed about dead family members by relatives who often wouldn’t have given them the time of day while they were alive. She also used to say “don’t ever put one of those in the paper for me, they’re awful” (but her phrasing wasn’t quite so polite).
Given that, I think it was rather timely that today of all days I came across the weirdest memoriam notice you’re ever likely to read: a rambling note a dead mother that has an update on all the living family members, has a few digs at some of them and invites the dearly departed over for a visit.