Max and my Ma.

Mr first sacking was back in 1988.
I read out a letter on TVam about David Steel and David Owen….It was ten days before the General Election and I didn’t now about the Representation of Peoples Act. Each political party must have equal billing.
I had just had B, not twelve weeks before, was still breast feeding and didn’t know whether it was Day or Guy Fawkes.
I started the letter and couldn’t make sense of it I continued reading it until the bitter end. There was a deathly hush.
Max Bygraves was sitting on the settee next to me. In the gaping hole of silence Mr. Bygraves said quietly –
‘I hope your career lasts as long as that letter.
The studio laughed.
I was sacked two days later.
Max Bygraves died in Australia today.
RIP Mr. Bygraves.

So it’s Saturday afternoon. The sun is streaming in through the window. I am in the studio. Jim is upstairs, in the cottage, putting the finishing touches to my mothers slide show, which is part of the service on September 11th.
We went to NIGEL AND JANNY DENGATE – the funeral parlour – to talk abut the order of service for my mother.
if any of you are fixing on dying in the Brighton area you could do worse than sit with Nigel and Janny. They listen, laugh, take the strain and make the process of exiting this life really easy. We ended up changing the chapel, rethinking the music and left knowing that it was all going to be okay. Janny said, quite rightly, that you only get to bury somebody once so you need to get it right.
I hope we have.
I had my second and final look at my mother. Put a cushion under head which says something sentimental about mothers then kissed her ice cold forehead. She has now gone.
It is going to be a humanist ceremony, with my speech, a speech from my-near-as-damn-it son, who nanny loved, a song from B and her two sisters, the slide show, The Kaddish said by my cousin Harry, then Stevie Wonder will sing her out.
We will have lots of sunflowers to place on her coffin, and then we’ll retreat to my middle daughters little house five minutes away and drink to my mothers life.
On the 16th of September I will cast her ashes, with whoever turns up, and then she will float back into the Sea of Life.
Today I have dusted and polished, hoovered and washed. The need to clear the air and make space. The need to wash the few things I brought from the nursing home and iron her last bits. I may well wear one of her lovely blouses to the funeral.
It’s now coming up to five o’clock on Saturday September 1st. Where has this year gone?
I have spoken to my brother, my nephew, my cousin, my daughters. I have eaten my way through a field of green leaves and now its time for a little drink. I have allowed myself a tot or two over the laswt few days.
Well, if you can’t get a little squiffy when your ma dies then when can you?

8 thoughts on “Max and my Ma.”

  1. Amazing, strong, inspirational, funny, vulnerable, honest……
    Just some of the words that come to mind when I think of you!

  2. When indeed. I took to watching the Pakistan cricket team and having one or two Irish whiskeys every night for a couple of weeks. God Bless Shahid Afridi, I say!
    Take care,

  3. Ive just caught up with your blog Jeni, im so sorry to hear about your mum, it sounds as if you’ve done a great job arranging the funeral as you did in caring for her.
    As always you write so honestly and openly, i always enjoy reading about whats going on in your life, just sorry this has been sad time for you, thanks for sharing. x

  4. Jeni
    I hope you are being kind to yourself darling girl.
    I hope you are remembering all the happy sweet moments with your Mother and smiling.
    Now just breathe.
    Sent with love

  5. Hope you’re doing okay. My Ma’s funeral was on the 10th September 2010. Two years ago Monday. It’s no less of an impact, the grief, but its less raw. It’s more of a steady hollowness. You’ll do it. You’ll survive. Our good wishes and love will be just over your shoulder all the way through.
    All the best, Jeni,

  6. Hallo Jeni
    You were in my thoughts at lunch time.
    I hope today was everything you wanted it to be for your mother and don’t forget she is still holding your hand.
    Sent with love

  7. Dear Jeni, I have just been reading about your recent Sad Loss of your Dear Mother ! Oh Jeni i feel so sad for you as its such a hard thing to realise that the person who nurtured you from Childhood and was always there for you and made you feel safe, Suddenly is no longer there for you and there seems an awful Void and it takes a long time for it to hit home that your Dear Mum has really Gone and you will never see her alive anymore, Its such a hard difficult feeling to bear. i know how it felt when i lost my dear Mother many Years ago now, I still badly miss her and i often find there are things id love to have asked her opinion on etc, I pray that the Funeral which i believe is Today 9 11 went well and that you will feel a bit of relief after the send off and then remember your mother for the wonderful person she was and Cherish those treasured memories of her Forever! May God Bless you and Your Family Jeni. sorry i havent been blogging but ive been in LA where a cousin of mine is in Ceders Sinai after having a cancerous Brain Tumor removed the size of a golf ball, He is now having radiotherapy but is paryalysed and cannot swallow at the moment, im back in Putney for a while so i read about your Mum today, May God Bless you all in your Family and give you the strength to bear the Pain of your Great Loss with all our sincere sympathy Terry & Gordon

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