Because I forget stuff. Part of

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Originally posted September 18 2009 at 23:09 under Moments and Friends. 0 Comments. Trackbacks Disabled.


Doris Day, The Deadwood Stage (Whip Crack Away) [From Calamity Jane]
Joan Park 10 October 1949–24 August 2009

There are some things that certainly change life. I’ve recently had two. The next post covers the happier of these. This post deals with the terrably sad one. On 24 August my mother, Joan Park, formerly Scott, née Hetherington—aka Dwarfy, Joany Heather, mam—lost her fight with the cancer which we’d only found out a few months before was taking her. She fought it to the end. And she was her brilliant self to the end. As a sort of formality, and to save me repeating some of the dry details, the notice of her death in the local paper is online here (I just realised the date beneath her name there is May, though the text correctly says August as appeared in the actual paper. The acknowledgement is here, (and also here—the first appeared under deaths so they put it back in the next night in the correct section!)—she always did like to read the hatches, matches and dispatches.

This isn’t going to be a huge post with every reminiscence of her I could muster. There may be one at some point—here or some other place—but a few words, because how could there not be?

To say my mother was the greatest influence on me is something of an understatement. A quick glance at the (in need of some updating) about me page on this blog mentions her giving me many things. What that about page doesn’t mention that she gave me was all the love and warmth in the world. And all the nurturing to become me.

There are so many things. Mam was the person who would make me laugh the most, for her sense of humour was mine. She made me think the most, for a quicker, more intelligent person I haven’t met. It is her fault that I’m a Geordie, that I’m not scared of horror movies, that I bake, that I love, that castles fascinate me, that railways captivate me, that anything interests me, that I know so many things, have seen so many things, that I know what bravery and resolve look like. That I know organisation; she had written instructions and letters and faced things as only my dwarfy could.

I wanted to put something here, because this needs marking. But I don’t think I can put anything too sensable, too clever—I can feel myself rambling away, losing the threads in all the memories. So, for now, until I have the hours and hours needed to collect those thoughts and memories, I’ll leave with the piece I read at her funeral (so typically non-religious, with a command for bright colours). It’s not as good as the piece she’d written herself, ready for it, but it’ll do, for now.

Joan Park. Joan Scott; Joan Hetherington; dwarfy ;-) Even Theresa Brannigan. Aunty Joan to many, related or not, friend to all. My mam was known to, and is missed by, so many of us. Always interested in whatever people had to say–and always clever and quick to understand. Even when I went to university I would tell her what I’d been “doing at school today”, just as when I was little–and then have the pleasure of explaining everything until she was happy she’d understood enough. A mind of what she would call useless information she’ had invariably “read in a book” I don’t know where I’ll be now when stumped with something on so many randomly diverse subjects and can’t just say, “my mam will know”. Actually, I don’t know where I’ll be now that she isn’t around to just look after me, or sort things out; to just be her. Afraid of nothing, except maybe spiders and heights–she took me to the top of Newcastle Keep only to not be able to get out the door to the roof. She took me everywhere, always tried to give the answers–seemed to know everything–made me laugh and smile. And it’s typical that she left careful instructions for all this for when she isn’t around to do it herself. That we shouldn’t be sad, but happy. That we shouldn’t be gray but colourful. And so we’ll party and remember the joy, and the laughter of the greatest, funniest, most caring, simply amazing person I have ever been lucky enough to have known.

I said that my mam was known to many, by whatever name. There’s one I didn’t mention, for to me she’ll be forever simply my mammy and I will always miss and love her.

The only part Thackeray got wrong is it is not just when we are little children that mother is the word for god on our hearts and lips.

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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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