Friday 21 July 2023

A Eulogy for my Darling Mama


My mother was born in London within the sound of the Bow bells on July 10th 1937.

The Second World War made a deep impression on her early years and she had a treasury of stories from those days.

Her mother Inge was German but she received no prejudice and was embraced by the close knit community of neighbours during those dark days of the blitz while her Father Peter was away in the RAF.

After leaving school she worked in London with her Father for a time and then got a job at Leaveston Hospital in Abbots Langley.

Around that time she helped to found a charity which ran events to raise money to help support children’s education in poorer communities in Zimbabwe Africa. She was in regular correspondence with the children and their families and teachers for many years. She loved to knit, sew and crochet and would make clothes and toys for them. She even began to learn the Shona language native to the region.

In time, the family moved to small village in West Sussex with their beloved boxer dogs. The garden needed a lot of work and she took on the challenge of landscaping it herself. She enjoyed this so much she decided to apply for a job at a local plant nursery ‘Goachers’. Much to her surprise and delight, they took her on and this is where she met her future husband John, in the potting shed. The moment she laid eyes on him, she would tell us,  she said in her heart, ‘please God, if it be your will, that is the man I will marry.’

My Dad said to her one day, with his usual humour, I’ll take you to a dinner dance for three bags of apples from your orchard if you like. She said yes. They were married two years later.

Tragically, their first little son whom they named Joseph but called Joe, was stillborn. They were in their forties and assumed they would never have children but not long after I came along and we became of family of four including Christa the boxer dog.

My mother was older than most in years but young in heart. She  used to do so many lovely things with me when I was little; baking fairy cakes, cutting up pictures in magazines to make collages and reading Enid Blyton story books to me at bedtime, but my favourite as a little child was packing up a picnic and going down to the stream by the woods where I would play imaginary games for hours by her side.

She loved simply sitting in her favourite place, the garden with a cigarette and a coffee and maybe some chocolate too. She also loved going out for tea and cake. The photo of her on the back of the booklet is from Wiston post office and tea rooms in West Sussex, a place she would spend many happy Sunday afternoons. My mother loved simple things best.

She helped care for her parents who lived round the corner from us for a number of years after they became ill and infirm. She also cared for my Father when he was ill and me through some difficult times during my teenage years. I will never forget her strength and love during these times.

When I was 18 I unexpectedly became pregnant. She was the first to hold my baby daughter and helped me immensely during that time.

 Emmy will remember her baking hedgehog bread with her and playing with all Gypsy and Tinkerbell’s  puppies and kittens. 

We moved to Lincolnshire in 2000. I met Tani and we married in 2003.

Soon she became a Granny to 5 girls and two great grandsons.The children were her delight and joy. Although her health became frail she loved to watch them play around her and encourage their latest plays and music pieces.

My mother was gentle spirited but strong. During her illness, she rarely showed any discomfort or distress, and in fact, often made us and her carers laugh with her mischievous  sense of humour. 

My mother had a quietly devout and childlike faith in Jesus. He was her friend throughout her life and He was her strength in times of hardship. 

The last three years of her life were spent mainly in bed due to her health but her faith gave her a peace beyond all understanding  and a peace the world cannot give. During this time she would pray for people she new who were struggling and suffering in any way and even people on the news such as the earthquake victims in Turkey and the children in Ukraine. This gave her a deep sense of meaning and purpose.

The evening before she died the girls sang her favourite songs and hymns around her bedside. On July 13th, three days after her 86th birthday, her soul passed peacefully from this world to the next, her Emmy holding one hand, me holding the other and the heavenly angels guiding her steps just as they did throughout her life.

Saturday 5 November 2022

Friday 1 July 2022

A message of healing and hope and two videos

I will begin this post, by saying that I am pro life.

After some thought and prayer I’m deciding to share three videos here. 

There has been lots said over the last few days much of which has simply pushed people even further apart from one another.

I genuinely believe that most people on both sides come from a place of compassion even if their emphasis is different.

So, as far as the three videos go, one is an interview with an OB/GYN who used to perform abortions. Although she doesn’t anymore, she is very compassionate to women in crisis pregnancy situations and urges those of faith to be compassionate and gentle with the words they use when talking about this subject.

In the current cultural climate, abortion will be more prevalent and more normalised. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t create any less of an impact on a woman’s heart and soul. It’s a traumatic event. We need to be mindful in how we talk about abortion so that we don’t do further harm to women who have already been traumatised by abortion.

Yet it doesn’t serve anyone to shy away from the fact that abortion means the killing of a small human life. 

Abortion is a grave matter.

This doctor says the church must reflect Jesus and  be a place of love, support and redemption for everyone and not simply target specific people in specific situations. We are, after all sinners in need of a saviour. 

Here is the video. The main point of her talk comes at minute 19. I love what she says here about how the church should be a safe place. 


This video is the story of three former Planned Parenthood employees who also experienced abortion themselves.

The third video I’m sharing is by a wonderful nun 
( Sister Emmanuelle Maillard) who herself has a wonderful story of redemption and healing. All her videos are beautiful but I particularly recommend one called ‘Peace like a River.’
Anyway, I digress. 
Sister Emmanuelle shares in the video I’m linking to,  how women who have been hurt by abortion can find healing by going to Mama Mary.

If you have had an abortion, I don’t judge you. Many years ago I nearly had an abortion. 

I was young, alone, homeless and afraid. I know there are many hard situations where it seems like there is no other way and so does God. He understands the torment you went through. He is above all things Mercy and Love. There is nothing and no one that He can’t redeem, no wound He cannot bind, and no pain He cannot heal if we surrender our lives to Him, and ask forgiveness.


If you have had an abortion and are suffering with terrible pain, run into the loving arms of Mother Mary. She will help heal you.


Mary, Mother of Our Lord, was a teenager when she found out she was pregnant. She risked being stoned and exiled yet she gave herself to God’s will and God protected her. Above all, she understands your fear and your suffering. 

If only everyone knew the protection and love of our Heavenly Mother. If only, in our suffering we hid ourselves in the folds of Her Mantle, we would understand the Love God  has for all His children both small and great, both born and unborn.


Please know that God loves you so much. He only wants you to rest in His arms so  He can heal you of your pain. Go to Him. Pour out your heart to Him. 


‘God is close to the broken hearted and will save the crushed in spirit.’ - Psalm 34


If you know anyone experiencing a crisis pregnancy, throw open your arms and lives to that person, support them in any way you can. Love them, care for them and pray for them. 

I would also call on those of us who are pro life  to vote for policies and laws that offer more help and support to the vulnerable and poor in society including better access to healthcare, good, safe housing and  better provisions for maternity/ paternity leave. This kind of social/ family support has been shown to significantly lower abortion rates as it creates a culture in which vulnerable women feel supported.


I’m sharing one more video here. 

This video is one of the most incredible, moving stories I’ve ever seen. 

I want to say, however, there  are parts of this video that could trigger someone who has been through an abortion as it explains in some detail, the procedure at one point in the video. 

Patricia’s testimony is one of incredible redemption and the infinite Divine Mercy of God’s  Love I feel compelled to share it. If you can watch it to the end, you will find such incredible HOPE.

A Prayer

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy!
Our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, 
to thee do we send up our sighs, 
mourning and weeping in this valley, of tears.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us; 
and after this our exile show unto us the
blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus;
O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Thursday 26 May 2022

Some thoughts on education from a Carmelite Priest.


Pere Jacques was a Carmelite Priest and "Martyr of Love" 1900 - 1946

I'm sharing some wonderful notes from my Carmelite group on this fascinating priest, who was headmaster of Le Petit College de Sainte Therese and who died at Mauthausen concentration camp on 2nd June 1945.

At a time when discipline was paramount and teaching was heavily didactic, that is, a matter of the teacher giving information and the pupil receiving it, Fr. Jacques approach to education was quite revolutionary. The teacher was not "to block the child's horizon by always walking in front of him." Instead he must " let the child go ahead, following him and only intervening discreetly when it is necessary, always with tact and discretion."

Such an approach issued from a belief that the child isn't an empty, passive vessel into which teachers pour knowledge; it rests on confidence that the children have an innate desire for, and a capacity to, learn an grow, that they are made to engage with the world in order to become what they are made to be.

Fr. Jacques did not derive his confidence from psychology so much as from his Christian understanding of the human person. 

He agreed with St. Thomas Aquinas that freedom is the great attribute of the human being made in the image of God. Education involved, therefore, enabling children to realise their true freedom, so they would not remain slaves to their own heredity or unexamined ideology. Fr. Jacque emphasized the importance of education in the formation of character.

Catholic thinking define education as "integral human development with a view to man's final end." That is man's final end is sanctity and union with God. It also emphasizes the role if education in producing citizens who will build a world in accordance with the highest human values, that is, values consistent with the Gospel.

In his "Mission statement for the college at Avon he states: " A Teacher is to awaken the child so that the child can realise fully all that God has in view for him, through the complete blossoming of his personality."

Some quotes from Fr. Jacque:

"The human soul, a flower more delicate and subtle than the most beautiful of flowers, needs calm, recollection, serenity if it is to bloom harmoniously."

" The true end of all human education must be: holiness."

"Make no mistake about it: holiness is even better than art or genius in bringing about the blossoming of our personality. Only the saints are truly free. Holiness and liberty go together."

"The most decisive victory will be won on the day that the educator makes his pupil see and enjoy the difference between joy and pleasure."

To succeed in this education of the children of God there is one essential condition: there must be an atmosphere of joy."

"Gentleness is the characteristic of all pedagogic activity, its the fundamental disposition, the permanent state of soul of the educator."

"Gentleness, true gentleness, strong and calm gentleness, can only dwell in a heart that is totally self-forgetful so that it thinks only of others, who has no greater happiness than to let all his time, all his strength, all his devotion be absorbed by those who need a word, some advice, some service, in short, a heart which keeps nothing for itself, but gives all it has and is, without reflecting on the importance of this gift."

Wednesday 27 April 2022

The Real Influencers


I just want to say, never underestimate the effect your online presence has on others.

I was thinking about years ago when I first discovered blogging. I’d always liked to write and to share my thoughts on the internet seemed daunting. But, I was very lonely. I’d just moved to a new town and I didn’t know anyone. We were living in a bad area. Family was distant and I had three, soon to be four, then five little ones. I had only just embraced my faith in Jesus and I felt very alone in my journey as a Christian and a mother. The internet seemed to unlock a world to me. 

Then I found a group of women bloggers who were mothers and Christians. They posted about ordinary things, the things I was going through, mundane things, hard things, beautiful things. Their faith shone through their words, giving them strength. This overflowed off the page ( screen) and into my own ordinary world transfiguring it and showing me the profound meaning in it.

I was blessed by these women more than I can say. They inspired me, encouraged me, edified me, convicted me.

My children were blessed as my own journey of motherhood was blessed. I will always hold a special place in my heart for those women.

I dearly miss those humble, earthy, homely and homespun blogs although I find similar beautiful souls on Instagram, even if it is a little more fast paced.

A few years ago, I heard that one of these women passed away. I literally went into my bedroom and wept. I had never met or spoken to this sweet, Godly woman, but my children’s childhoods would not have been the same without her generous wisdom and quiet, strong faith. That is because she guided me, as a woman and a mother into the sacredness of my vocation and role. 

We are all influencers in our way. The effects of our lives will only be fully realised in eternity.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 

-Titus 2:3-5

( I just want to thank those who have commented recently. My laptop is not working properly and I’ve just changed my phone and for some reason my replies to your comments aren’t appearing in the blog. I’m really sorry. I think it will work better through my laptop once it’s fixed. I appreciate your kind comments so much) 

Friday 15 April 2022


If we equip a child, to be emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically strong, they will be okay.

If we only equip them academically, then regardless how good their grades and how many exams they get, they won’t be okay.

We must always be driven by our love rather than our fear.

What we value matters. Our values build the kind of world we inhabit and the world  our kids will inhabit.