Although she doesn’t read my blogs, my Mum inspires many of them.
On Wednesday she had her second new knee in six months and is now an 86 year old bionic woman.
Thanks to the NHS, she has not just new knees but the incentive to go out and do what she has been doing longer than I can remember – be the rock that she is.
She lost her husband last year and she had been his rock, her social circle in Shaftesbury are in slow decline and cling to her for everything from a free taxi service to a listening ear when they are lonely. Her family adore her – for good reason – she is our rock.
The good news is that she was out of bed and walking around (just a little) yesterday. Her aim is to be ready to ramble in April – when we expect to see her “knees up mother Tapps”.
The generation that preceded mine, lived through the war, my mother was evacuated to America and saw boats in her convoy perish, she was spared and saw life beyond the confines of Welwyn Garden City and Hitchen where she was born and schooled. It has always amazed me that she never talks about her years as a child away from her mother and father, except with gratitude for the family that looked after her.
We are losing that generation that lived through the war and we should not let them pass on without thanking them for the stoicism that they’ve displayed when young and the magnanimity with which they pass on the lessons that those tough times taught them
In May , I am going to be talking with Bernard Rhodes at First Actuarial’s client conference. Bernard, like my Mum lived through the war years – he was evacuated to the East End of London from Europe and had it even tougher. If you are a First Actuarial client – you’ll be able to hear the man who founded the Clash, talk about how the war shaped him – and punk!
But a generation with more to do
You do not go through the pain of integrating your 86 year old body with two new knees unless you are optimistic about your life ahead.
My mother started her new life this morning , as she does every morning – I’ve never come accross anyone so darned optimistic. I think that – like Bernard – her fortitude was born out of struggling through those early years.
My Mum’s not giving up, she’s starting over – with new knees. Today or tomorrow she will be coming home to Shaftesbury, to the house she has lived in since 1960 – to be looked after by Rupert and Gregory – my two brothers – and by Albert- my youngest brother who lives not far away.
Also my son Olly – of whom my mother is most proud.
Knees up Mother Tapps!
I am proud of my mother and father. I am particularly proud today of my mother. I’m also proud of my brothers for filling the vacuum in my mother’s life – after my father died.
How we look after our older friends, defines us.
I work in pensions, there is a social responsibility in what I do, to make the lives of those who like my mother – have every expectation of living to 100, to do so with the means to enjoy those later years.
At 86 – my mother is starting out again – with new knees – intent on doing good things and leading a good life. May that be a lesson to me and to anyone else who holds him or herself out as a pensions expert!