Having just had the devastating news that we've lost Brenda's mother suddenly, you'd think that I'm all out of ways to make something positive of our lives right now. I'm going to try. I think I'll use a list of reasons to be grateful, if you'll bear with me.
I'm grateful I knew Carol for around ten years. It wasn't all plain sailing, but we quickly warmed to each other and she showed me nothing but love and respect. Of course, we didn't agree on everything, but does anyone with their family? The point is, we didn't let any differences get in the way of that love and respect we shared for each other.
I'm grateful that she looked on me as a son, and my sons as her grandchildren. She genuinely cared for them and always showed an interest in their lives.
I'm grateful for her cheerful demeanour and the sheer exhilaration she seemed to find, especially in the last few years. She had an extremely engaging smile and a wicked laugh.
I'm grateful for the generosity she showed us, right down to insisting that, when we called her, we hang up and let her call back. I suppose that's what mothers do.
Most of all, I'm really grateful that what turned out to be Carol's last few years were so filled with fun and happiness. I really think she was happier than she'd ever been and this is because she married Dick. They were immersed in each other and always found something new or exciting to do together. I've seen a picture of the two of them together at High School and it just seems right that they ended up together.
We won't forget Carol, but if ever a life was to be celebrated, this was it. Of course, we'll miss her terribly, but I'm absolutely sure that, when we think of her, it'll almost always be with smiles on our faces. We love you, Mom.