Thank you for all these wonderful gifts

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Friday, 3 February 2023 18:15

I don't think I have ever done anything that was so gut-wrenchingly difficult and simultaneously, beautiful and profound as this. It was a great privilege to read a very personal piece about my Mum at her funeral. I really wanted to share it with other friends and family who couldn't be there and some who couldn't hear it. Now it's also up online forever, for those that want to read it again. And some Cat Stevens too.

Thank you.

Thank you, Mum; Mother, Irene, Irene Tooth, Irene Jeanette Tooth (what a lovely middle name that is), Irene Lyons, Irene Carlin. Thank you.

Mother, sister, daughter and granddaughter. Mother, aunt, grandmother and great grandmother. Mother, fighter, survivor. Artist, devourer of books, lover of animals, lover of family. Lover.

  • Thank you for dragging my consciousness out of nothing but star dust.
  • Thank you for a happy childhood; showered with love and made to feel safe. Protected from harm.
  • Thank you for all those Star Wars figures and all the sweets, chocolate & marzipan, even when money was tight.
  • Thank you for all the dental work.
  • Thank you for a childhood running wild and free, with endless summer days spent up the Brook catching Bullheads with Daz and Gilly, or roughing it with William under the stars in the spinney around a camp fire. Thank you for that long leash. For letting me be more than a little feral.
  • Thank you for nurturing my love of nature, for placing me “here on earth to grasp the meaning of its wild enchantment and to call each thing by its right name.”* I would be lost without it. I’m gutted you won’t get to read my first book. I’m writing it now and dedicating it to you, Mum.
  • Thank you for selling all my Star Wars figures so I could buy my first car.
  • Thank you for making me fiercely independent and for the gift of enjoying my own company.
  • Thank you for not going too mad when I accidentally appeared naked in the News of the World aged 14 at that Pagan festival in Fradley.
  • Thank you for a house full of animals, especially those five lovely cats; Humbug, Treacle, Crystal, Dixie and Marmalade.
  • Thanks for those cherished memories of holidays to North Wales, climbing up the River Ysgethin and to the mountains beyond and spending hours playing pool with Steve.
  • Thank you for letting me grow “food plants for insects I was breeding” in the garden.
  • Thank you for my three sisters: Humbug, Treacle and- Oh no, wait. Wrong bit, sorry: Bev, Max and Teri.
  • Thank you for encouraging my love of science, space and the fantastical. Tonight, a rare green comet, not seen from the Earth in 50,000 years, makes its closest approach. I imagine it’s your emerald chariot, perfectly timed to return you back to the stars.
  • Thank you for Steve, he is stuck with us now and we will stand by him. We promise we’ll look after him, Mum.
  • Thank you for my fierce sense of justice and strict moral code. Thank you for teaching me to not hold grudges. And that people make mistakes but can change.
  • Thank you for making me value truth, above all else.
  • Thank you for teaching me to read before starting infant school, so I could read the Radio Times and pretend to be sick on the days that Chock-a-block was on. *cough*
  • Thank you for making me question everything. All of the time. For being that one kid at school who always refused to pray in assembly. For igniting the fire in my belly.
  • Thank you for teaching me to care, not just about myself and those close to me, but for everyone on this planet. And to never vote Tory.
  • Thank you for my creativity, it bleeds out into my life in so many different ways. As it did yours and still does now in all of your children.
  • Thank you for the gift of my middle name; Trevor. Yeah. Thanks for that one, Mum.
  • And thank you for never teaching me to say my ‘th’s’ properly.
  • Thank you for all these wonderful gifts, Mum. Luv you .We’ll bloody miss you.

Thank you.

* quote by Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago.

1 Response to "Thank you for all these wonderful gifts"

Max Says:

Beautiful words, for our beautiful mum. Till we meet again 💔XXX

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