It's been a difficult few days here at "Our Cheeky Life". My mum (Henry's "Grandma" Zuill) passed away on the morning November 13th. She passed at 67, which is far too young and it was a shock to us all. Although it's not the typical up-beat entry people are accustomed to at "Our Cheeky Life", I wanted to write this so one day, when Henry is old enough, he understands how important she was to our family.
My mum was a gentle women. She gave her everything to her family. Raising five kids is no mean feat. I say that again...FIVE kids! Angela and I have our hands full raising one, let alone five. She passed on her gentle sensibilities, her subtle wit and her 'tallness' (family joke) to all her children.
Being a guy I rarely see mamma or daddy's in a child's features. Even with Henry I still can't tell who he looks like. But I see my mother every time I look in the mirror - both in features and in heart - and I'm proud of that and I know she was too.
I don't feel badly to admit I was a mamma's boy. My fondest memories were of her and I preparing dinner. Not that I did much other than be Mummy's 'sampler' - trying the roast beef on a Sunday to make sure it was 'tasty', making sure the carrots tasted 'just right' or licking the bowl when we made something sweet. I think about those times together often and it's something I'll treasure forever. I still cook a lot. I'm no great chef by any stretch of the imagination, but I think I do pretty well. I got that from her.
Mum and I were close. She was close to all her kids. Every weekend we'd talk on the phone about my week, what was going on in her world etc. And when talk turned to that of the adventures of Baby Henry I knew her smile widened on the other end of the phone. I'm very proud of the day when she got to meet Henry. We visited back in April and within what seems like seconds of us arriving at my brothers house, mum and dad were there to meet a certain someone. Mum then proceeded to kiss and hug that baby like it was going out of fashion. Even now I look at the photos of that moment and it lifts me. My deepest regret is that she didn't see him more often being so far away. We'd planned to spend this Christmas in the UK and I know how much she was looking forward to seeing him again. It saddens me to think she won't see Henry grow. Henry will know her though - through the stories and memories that I and the rest of my family will share with him - and I think he'll know how special she was.
As you might imagine, this entry has been difficult to write. Everything you write you feel like you are leaving out so much. A big hole is missing from our lives and I think we have all been feeling it since she passed. I love my mum and I shall miss her dearly. All the Zuill's will. But we will get through this difficult time through the strength of our family. A strength that we shall forever draw from her.
Mum - on her Wedding Day...
The Zuill Family - 2009
My proudest day...mum meets Baby Henry....