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Archive for June 25th, 2010

I have spent the week in a tearful state as close friends have had to bear witness. But now it is time to dry my eyes and remember the woman who gave me life.

My mum’s name was Kathleen, but everyone called her Kay. I also have a first name but everyone calls me by my second name, except my husband who likes to be difficult.

Today has been like a running tap of emotions and memories, so many in fact it is hard for me to decide what to tell and what should be kept private.

I think, and I want to keep this light, I will tell of my mother and the most unfortunate moments of her desire to use the bathroom.

Many years ago on a warm July evening, it would have been a Saturday, we had decided to go for a drink at the Boat Club on the Thames. Mum and I both loved to walk and walked home that evening around 11.30 pm. Suddenly she said she needed to go to the loo. Now for you guys this is not a problem you just unzip and there you are. But as we girls know things are not quite so simple, we have to squat. Now here was the problem ,there was no where for mum to squat , plus she was wearing a trouser suit. I looked up and down the road but there was not a hedge or anywhere for her to go behind, there was nothing else for it ,we stopped at the nearest lamp post and checking the road to make sure no cars were passing, mum dropped her trousers and squat.

Would you believe it , no sooner had she done this than a car approached, stopped and the driver started to ask for directions, he had lost his way.

My mother mortified at being caught in such an undignified position quickly jumped up pulling at her trousers while I gave the driver instructions.

I had a fit of the giggles but at this time all mum could say was ‘How embarrassing, I will never live this down’

Another time we were on the beach here in Spain. Mum, terrified of the water, would not go into the sea, she had once accused me of trying to drown her while trying to teach her to swim, we are talking seven inches of water here. I agree she did take in a little water and spluttered but she was nowhere near drowning. Mum reminded me of the window cleaner who fell from his ladder and by pure chance , his head fell in his water bucket and he drown,what this had to do with me teaching her to swim still remains a mystery.

Back to the beach and mum ‘s need to find a rock to squat behind, here we were in luck, there were many rocks. Mum , not one for bikinis, was wearing a one piece swim suit, she dropped this and went into the squatting position…..no sooner said than done a boat appeared from behind the rocks, full of young guys…they saw mum in what they thought was ‘mooning ‘ and started to shout over. I again found the moment amusing and had a fit of the giggles as my mother tried to compose herself….she stormed off saying ‘Thats it. I am never coming here again’ she meant to Spain. I think she thought her humiliation would hit the news stands by morning.

Another time we were having lunch after having spent the morning shopping, she wanted to ask me a word she had heard Stephan use several times.

The restaurant was full and my mother in a loud voice and in perfect Spanish asked me what did ‘Coño’ mean . Stephan, uses this word a lot, usually when driving and aimed at fellow motorists. Mum had heard it and liked the sound . I looked around as the entire restaurant gazed at our table, I said to mum ‘hush’, of course mum did not know what she had said. I explained to her that this was a special and private place of a woman’s body  and not a good idea to say it in a public place. Mum’s face was as red as her napkin ‘ OH lets go’ she said ‘I can never come here again’.

These moments of embarrassement came to be moments of much laughter in later years.

One more memory that I cherish. One day, I must have been about seven years old, I said to mum, everyone asks me how my shoes are so shiny ‘Elbow Grease’ said my mum. I, filled with this information told my school friends the following day. Mum reminded me years later, with tears of laughter when she found me in the kitchen rubbing my shoes with my elbow. ‘What on earth are you doing?’ she asked…’Cleaning my shoes with my ‘Elbow Grease’ I replied. For those who do not know ‘Elbow Grease’ is a northern expression and it means , hard work.

I, being a small child had taken my mum’s words for just that and had told my friends my mum cleaned my shoes with her elbow…

Stephan also misses her although they had some huge rows, they loved each other . Our wedding photographs and pictures on our honeymoon, not only the happy couple but mum in law smiling and standing in the middle…yes you’ve guessed it Stephan took my mum along on our honeymoon….

Great times mum, Stephan once thanked you for bringing me into the world so he was able to meet me. I would like to thank you also and hope one day we will meet again.

Thank you for all the joy you brought me and the good times.

I miss you mum.

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The debate rages on, I am pro euthanasia.

The bringing about of a gentle death in the case of incurable and painful disease is the kindest last wish we can do for those we love.

My mother suffered three long years and we had to stand by and watch . There is something wrong with the law when we would go to prison for cruelty to let a dog linger in pain but a human being for the moment must continue until the end…even if that means they can no longer swallow and choke to death.

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A former GP dubbed Doctor Death will not be prosecuted for assisting a terminally ill man to commit suicide.

Dr Irwin had been arrested and questioned by police

Dr Michael Irwin paid £1500 towards the cost of 58-year-old Raymond Cutkelvin’s death at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.

The 79-year-old had been arrested and questioned by police after he vowed to highlight the “hypocritical British system” surrounding euthanasia.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer said there is sufficient evidence to proscute him but it would not be in the public interest.

Mr Cutkelvin’s partner of 28 years, Alan Cutkelvin Rees has also been told he will not face prosecution.

Mr Cutkelvin had been diagnosed with an inoperable tumour of the pancreas in 2006 and died the following year at the clinic in Switzerland.

Mr Starmer said no criminal complaint had been made at the time of Mr Cutkelvin’s death but a police inquiry began after coverage in the media.

He added that the dead man had been “strong-minded” and made an “informed decision” to commit suicide “without any pressure” from his partner or anyone else.

He said: “Mr Rees acted throughout as a supportive and loving partner and was wholly motivated by compassion.”

Speaking about Dr Irwin, he said the circumstances had been more complex, but that he too should not be prosecuted.

He said Dr Irwin cooperated with police and but already has a caution for assisting suicide.

New guidelines on assisted suicide in February outlined that motive should be at the centre of any decision over assisted suicide.

They stated that anyone acting with compassion to help end the life of someone who has decided they cannot go on living is unlikely to face criminal charges.

Assisted suicide does remain a criminal offence in England and Wales, punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

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It is a New Day

Today is a new day

Today is a new life

Today, yes today is a special day

It never has occurred before

The sun light cast on today is ancient

The words I will speak will be for the first time, today

The air I breathe is new today

The aches are new as well

The feelings are new today

My cats meow is new today

Todays lunch I have is new

The thoughts I think are new today

The life I live today is new

Indeed today is a new day

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