Noreen

Voice from the past
From time to time I hear someone speak or they raise a subject with me that reminds me instantly of my old mum. She passed away 25 years ago, but every now and again her memory charges back to me like a rampaging bull or a wintery chill. Other things trigger her memory even more efficiently. The smell of nail polish remover evokes her memory instantly. Any discussion around hats has the same effect. My grandmother used to make my mum a new hat every week to wear to church.
My mother worked as a teacher’s aide at a school for people with learning difficulties. Conversations around art, learning styles, schools, and teachers also often evoke a memory. If you have had a parent pass away you probably have a similar list of evocative things.
The memory of my old mum is one of the reasons I set up “The Life Log Project”. No doubt everyone has had a conversation around the best way to die, or some way you don’t want to die. Well, my mum had a cerebral haemorrhage while she was in the doctor’s surgery. She effectively died right there and then, but was kept alive by machines for a few days.
The nature of her death meant that there was plenty of stuff that went unanswered. I still get sad about it. She loved her grandchildren with a real passion. The biggest smile on her face would arrive as her little grandchildren entered a room, or did something kooky. Every one of her grandchildren would have benefitted from her being around, and that’s a shame. They are all now grown ups.
She was also pretty good at issuing advice. That bit I really do miss.
If I had been able to record a Life Log with my mother I would have included some questions about advice for her children and grandchildren. That would have been a beautiful thing to listen to. One of the other things I miss, is simply hearing her lovely voice. My old mum spoke beautifully. She came from honest working class Newcastle, her dad was a plumber, but she spoke beautifully. I really miss just hearing her speak.