Friday, 19 September 2008

One of the saddest but most important things I have ever written

On the 10th Sept my step mother Chris died.

Thats a few words that dont begin to describe our loss because my step mum was different and in a unique category so Im going to write about her in the way she deserves to be written about.

At her funeral the reverend from North Waltham and her church she not only attended but helped at and took responsibility for mentioned that Chris had taken my sister and myself on as we were deserted by our own mother.
She did take us on and I began to think of the enormity of what I owed her and never got to tell her.
Not only did I inherit siblings but also a step Grandmother and Grand father, step aunts,uncles and so on. Her house was a normal happy home where morals and lessons were the order of the day. There was no violence and fear. It was always filled with cooking and childrens toys,log fires and light. Eventually alongside Chris's wonderful children appeared two more so I had half brothers.

Christmas , Boxing day, Easter actually became words that meant something.These were experiences I would never have had access to without my stepmother and although I was older than these children I was and am still very gratefull for the memories and being invited to be part of it. Without learning what Christmas and special family days were all about my daughter and now my Grandaughters memories wouldnt be half so filled with magic.I hope they both give thier future families a "Christine Christmas".

Chris spent all year stashing items for people she knew would enjoy them at birthdays,Christmas etc.
Without realsing I too began to gain pleasure from finding things and to put them by. Chris taught me about ceramics and I only have to see Cranberry glass and I instantly think of happy times in North Waltham. Through Chris I learned about antiques and collectables,morals,families,Burmese cats and thier problems. Most of the things I know came from Chris because I didnt have another maternal source that could possibly educate me in such a kind and loving way. Even my love of antique books because Chris gave me encouragement. As a small child Kyra had beautiful hand embroidered dresses and the very best of everything thanks to Chris.In so many ways she touched by life and filled the void left by not having a mother.It was to my benefit to have a stepmother and not a mother.
I also realise it was Chris that taught me to not be bullied and to fight my corner. Chris was the bain of middle management. If they couldnt get it right they shouldnt be doing the job. She said she had decided to take on the battle with cancer as she would a battle with a Sainsburys manager. Anyone who knew Chris will now be smiling at this because if any supermarket didnt full fill her requirements she would have the boss squirming like a school boy having his ear bent untill satisfaction was hers for the taking.
Sadly for us Chris passed away sooner than anyone thought but I wonder if she got a glimpse of after life and departed with her shopping bag to iron out a few of heavens problems. If this is the case then heaven will be a much better run place where all children will be loved and cared for. If anyone deserves to be in heaven its Chris for all her goodness on this earth.
Even during her illness no one knew untill a few weeks before her death. Chris spent so much time looking after everyone else and her much loved grandchildren that I dont suppose for one minute she wanted to waste any time on dying while she had time left to live. She even organised what flowers were to be at her funeral which of course were yellow and mauve which I noticed match her ceramic flower wall plate.
The reverend knew too much about all of us to have just cobbled together a few meaningless words from those left behind. He spoke about all of us including the great grandchildren and Misty the worlds most annoying cat who was the bain of most peoples lives but simply another entity to be loved by Chris. That meant to me that he had listened to Chris and understood the importance of all of us to her. That to me made her one of the most important people I will ever be lucky enough to have had in my life and like everyone else I will mourn her loss for a very long time.

1 comment:

Sarah and Bran said...

Chris sounds like she was a wonderful woman to have had by your side, Lesley (hug)

Sleep easy, Chris.

Sarah xx