|Mam and me, Blackpool 1967.|
Sadly, on May 9th, when taking some shopping to her bungalow, I found her lying in the kitchen in a large pool of blood, having suffered a very nasty fall and head injury, possibly after a stroke. The prognosis at the hospital was bad. The neurosurgeon said the damage to her brain was too severe and only gave her 24 hours to live. Mum did show some sign of improvement though, and there was hope for a couple of days, but, as was originally feared, it became clear she would not recover.
The hospital staff at Universitry Hospital, Walsgrave, were excellent. They made mum as comfortable as possible and were very sympathetic. Knowing each day could be her last, I stayed by her bedside as long as I could. The accident had put mum into a state of semi-consciousness, like she was half awake, and she could no longer form words properly, so I don't know if her mind was in the present or wherever, but she did recognise me and tried to smile a couple of times when she saw me. I just sat beside her, talking to her of better, happier, days, of the pets we had, and the many holidays in Blackpool. And telling her how much she'd meant to me over the years. The good thing was she wasn't in any pain, and just looked comfortable and sleepy.
|Recent photo, 2013.|
My mum's life had often been one of hardship and sorrow, but she dealt with it well, and never gave in. She was genuinely a good, kind person, supporting and devoted to her family throughout her life. She liked to be independent and kept herself to herself. She was a very fair-minded person and tolerant of all people. As she always said, “There are good and bad in all races. Take each person as you find them.”
Mum had always been encouraging and supportive of me throughout my career, and earlier, when I used to draw my own comics as a child. I used to show her every comic strip I had published (except for the rude stuff like Viz) and she read every one, always looking for my signature afterwards. We often used to talk about times gone by, and she told me a lot about her life before I was born. She had decent moral values, and she was young at heart too, with a good sense of humour. Basically she was not only the best mum I could have wished for, she was my best friend too.
I have no family left now, so I have to adjust to a new normal life. Grief comes in waves, but hopefully, once the funeral is over, and I've cleared her council bungalow, I'll be back at the drawing board.
Olive Stringer, 5th June 1925 - 21st May 2013. Rest in Peace now Mam. No more worries or stress.