I’m breaking the project rules today…not a photo taken today – scanned in from my small family album..
This is one of only 3 pictures I have of my mum who died in 1988. Today would have been her 75th Birthday. I looked at this photo taken when I was about 10 – she would have been no more than 30, she looks older — I’m still in awe of how she managed to keep 4 us fed and clothed on her own. We lived in an extended household with my Nan and Mum’s 3 brothers. Mum’s brothers gradually left and married over the years and we were left with just Nan. In 1986 Nan had a massive stroke and was in a nursing home for a while but she wanted to come home, Mum agreed to care for her. I think it was the stress and strain of dealing with Nan who needed 24 hour care that finally pushed my Mum’s health over the edge and she died from a heart attack aged 51. The family lynchpin was gone and the ‘family’ was ripped apart.
Like I said earlier Mum was on her own – my dad was never really about and left for good when I was about 5. Mum had to work to provide for us. I was always aware that money was tight, and I don’t think that harmed us in any way. Things like sweets and biscuits were treats, not something we had everyday.
It’s not until you have a family of your own and try to make ends meet that you realise how hard it is. We’ve had one bad patch of money problems – just after our first son was born and that was mainly due to only having to manage on one income and not budgeting. My next worry is when we retire and whether we’ll have enough income. It’s been tough to adjust since I lost my job. Losing over £2k a month is bliddy tough!! But we do manage – just about…. plus we do have a little savings to fall back on and no mortgage left to worry about. I’m sure it’s because of my scrimping upbringing and budgeting well that we do manage now.
Kids today — honestly you wouldn’t know a hard time if it bit you on the bum!! Most of you have EVERYTHING you can ever need and may never know what it’s like to be hard up and I certainly hope you never will. If things are tough – remember that your parents are doing the best they can – life doesn’t come with a handbook!! Be grateful for what you have.
BUT – it is memories that make you the person you are – happy memories of time spent with your siblings and parents (whether you have one or both!) so take time to tell those you love that you love them.. Do it everyday – a cwtch, a kiss, a smile.. it all counts!!