In honor of Mother's Day this weekend...
I salute "Queen Mum."
We are blessed to still have our mother with us--alive and well-- full of sparkle.
Hazel Etheldreda Gasson Reynolds.
Born in London in 1925, Mum is celebrating her 90th year on the planet.
Hazel Gasson survived the bombing of London during World War II, went to work at Lloyd's bank of London where she met bank customer, Keith Hamilton Reynolds who had just finished his seven years of service in the Royal Air Force. Wedding bells. Andrew born. Jane born. The growing family moved to Canada. Peter and Paul born. Then on to America where she and Dad raised their five children--Irene rounding out the group.
I could--and should--write a book about Mum. I smile because if I did, Mum would want to rewrite the whole thing. She is famous for saying:
"Now... what I would have said...."
"Now... what I would have done...."
My book, edited by Mum or not, would share how she made growing up an easy and joyful experience. Bumps and challenges along the way, of course, but she made the journey smoother with her love, her twinkly energy, her hard work, her staunch defense of anyone not supporting or understanding her kids.
Her smile, her care, her laugh.
She would get home in the afternoons, make a cup of tea, sit at the kitchen table with us and ask us to re-tell, in detail, the full episode of her favorite soap opera which she often missed due to work. Not your typical soap, but Dark Shadows--a show about a vampire. This was years before a VCR could tape the show- so she resorted to us "taping" it in our heads and sharing. (I wrote a blog about this.) This was great fun for us, a unique bonding experience, but also some seriously good training for storytelling--paving the way for a future of storytelling and story sharing.
With so much on her plate already, Mum still had time for service to her community. She was active for decades in the Scouting program in England, Canada and the USA. She taught religious education--doing so in wonderfully creative ways--using music an art to help kids connect with the messages. Again, Mum was an amazing role model for her children.
And she still is!
Mum lives on the Cape and is still going full steam ahead. The kettle is always ready for tea. The photo of Queen Elizabeth hangs on the wall, but our Queen Mum reigns royally in our lives. She has created an amazing kingdom. We are blessed to have her continue to guide us, inspire us.
Happy Mother's Day, Queen Mum!