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29th November 2020

Dumplings for Joanie.

So it was a year on 26th November, 2020, since we lost Joanie, Tony’s wonderful Mum and my just a little scary, Mother in Law!

Actually, she wasn’t scary at all. It was only the first 3o years of us getting to know one another, that proved to be , ”interesting”. After that, it was plain sailing and we ended up being the best and closest of friends – and I so miss talking to her each Sunday on the phone.

Where does life go? One minute, we’re all complaining about responsibilities, of ”having to” eg ring people or do as we are told. Of them coming to visit and knowing the visit will be an equal mix of laughter and difficulties . Then suddenly, the world changes and the person we loved, is no longer there……….

Or are they?

On Thursday, 26th, for the first time in the 17 years of living here in Peyia, Philippos Supermarket had dumpling mix in – so I bought some and made dumplings. Now Joanie used to send me box upon box of dumpling mix because she knew her ”big son”, my husband, Tony, loved dumplings. (Though I never did them right/they weren’t crispy enough etc).

Suddenly, on Thursday evening, we had magnificent, crunchy dumplings and happy tummies . The dumplings had cooked while I sat at the kitchen table and wrote Christmas cards to post , Friday. Cooking dumplings was one thing but being organised and writing cards? This is SO not me!…..

Then, on Friday morning, it dawned on me, that is really wasn’t me. It was Joanie, influencing me to recognise that she was still around, watching over us and ensuring all was well. The crunchy dumplings were one thing but writing the cards reminded me of the poem Joan treasured which was about friendship and the importance of writing to /keeping in touch with those who mattered. A poem I’d read at her funeral and one which I’ve copied for many people now.

So, thank God, shés still with us all, keeping us right and surrounding us with love. I know Mike, her younger son, who is so much more obviously sensitive than  Tony, will have struggled on Thursday as he does missing his Mum but I hope he takes some comfort in knowing there are signs everywhere – and actually, he and Tony couldn’t look more like their Mum if they tried.

I’m very blessed to have such a wonderful Mother in Law – and very much aware of the need to improve my culinary skills!

Love you Other Mother x (and keep picturing you and Wicked William sat on this bench!)