February 22 is never a good day for me – it’s the anniversary of my mum’s death, and I ignore it at my peril.

Better to acknowledge it than have things go wrong all day as the subconscious wreaks havoc.

My mother’s was a life of anguish, but before her death – succumbing to cancer at 67 – she treasured her husband and her daughters, calling us “my two lovely girls”.

As the rebel child, I was glad to have the chance to reconcile with her during the six months or so when we knew she was dying.  I reverted to a devotion I had missed in the intervening years, and was at her side every moment I could wrest from my working life.

Kate Mary Lynch: Mother and Child Series: 'You may not live up to her dreams, which even a king cannot always do'. Photo credit St George's Hospital


Now a mother myself, I’m not sure I want to have such power over my children that whatever date I die on becomes etched into their psyche.  I certainly hope they can celebrate rather than mourn.

RIP Joan Gwendolyn Hall 1920 – 1987

For more tales of Joan and her exploits, read on here:

Riding Lessons

Railway ancestors

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