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Blog Posted in avatar   Greer Nicholson's Blog

Dr Monique Forthomme Nicholson 28/1/1930-5/3/2010

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By Greer Nicholson
Posted Jan 28, 2012 in Lifestyle
My mother would have been 82 today. This birthday is a little easier to bear than last year's and it is true that time is a great healer. Or, at least, it helps you deal with it all, since you get used to the absence.
I am sitting on cushions that she designed and made, with one of the many quilts she knitted on the sofa next to me.
If she had been less shy and modest, she would have been an amazing and famous clothing and home furnishings designer.
As a child, I wanted stuff from the stores and I was slightly ashamed of her home-made creations. And yet, now, they are among my most-prized possessions.
Fortunately, she lived long enough to know that.
Long hand-knitted coats, scarves and tapestries she stitched all by herself, often without patterns, fill my house with beauty.
Born and brought up in Belgium, she lost her own dad to a heart attack in 1943 when she was just 13.
She met my dad in England in 1952 and they loved each other with a huge passion. he died in 1995.
At the age of 50, she went back to university, saying that she didn't like the idea that all three of her children had achieved a better formal level of education than she did.
She completed a BA. MA and PhD within 10 years at the University of Ottawa and went on to teach Classics and Art History to university students, who adored her.
She still made me a sweater, every year.
When I was little, we spent hours on country walks. She knew the names and properties of every single plant and flower and could grow anything, even in a window box. Her African violets were amazing.
Although she was very good about telling me to "just forget about" troubles, she suffered from depression and mental health issues. Family feuds and estrangements caused her enormous pain. Oh, how she and I argued but I am so glad that I never lost touch with her and we were close over her last and most difficult years.
When I apologised to her for ever being angry with her, she said that she always knew it was because I cared so much about what she thought and she valued that. It was a lovely way of helping me deal with words I was ashamed of having said.
If you search for my dad's name, you find loads of his academic and journalistic writing and achievements. With mum, apart from her books, there are fewer traces.
I am glad I have kept her letters. For someone who grew up speaking French, with Flemish as a second language, she spoke and wrote excellent English.
Her poetry is original and brilliant, in English and in French.
As a schoolfriend said when I was 14, I was incredibly lucky in being deeply loved by both my parents and equally lucky that they never dimmed in their fierce passion for each other.
So, maman, I think of you today with love and gratitude and I hope that you are happy, wherever your spirit is. Whatever I am that is good is down to you and your intelligence and creativity and energy. I appreciate my good luck in being your daughter.
Rest in peace, beautiful woman, because your love of so much that is lovely in life is alive in me.
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Personal BlogGroup: Travel AddictsGroup: New Movies, From Hollywood to IndieGroup: HealthGroup: Environmental IssuesGroup: Digital
My mother would have been 82 today. This birthday is a little easier to bear than last year's and it is true that time is a great healer. Or, at least, it helps you deal with it all, since you get used to the absence.
I am sitting on cushions that she made, with one of the many quilts she designed and made on the sofa next to me.
If she had been less shy and modest, she would have been an amazing and famous clothing and home furnishings designer.
As a child, I wanted stuff from the stores and I was slightly ashamed of her home-made creations. And yet, now, they are among my most-prized possessions.
Long hand-knitted coats, scarves and tapestries she stitched all by herself, often without patterns, fill my house with beauty.
Born and brought up in Belgium, she lost her own dad to a heart attack in 1943 when she was just 13.
She met my dad in England in 1952 and they loved each other with a huge passion. he died in 1995.
At the age of 50, she went back to university, saying that she didn't like the idea that all three of her children had achieved a better formal education level than she did.
She completed a BA. MA and PhD within 10 years at the University of Ottawa and went on to teach Classics and Art History to university students, who adored her.
She still made me a sweater, every year.
When I was little, we spent hours on country walks. She knew the names and properties of every single plant and flower and could grow anything, even in a window box. Her African violets were amazing.
Although she was very good about telling me to "just forget about" troubles, she suffered from depression and mental health issues. Family feuds and estrangements caused her enormous pain. Oh, how she and I argued but I am so glad that I never lost touch with her and we were close over her last and most difficult years.
When I apologised to her for ever being angry with her, she said that she always knew it was because I cared so much about what she thought and she valued that. It was a lovely way of helping me deal with words I was ashamed of having said.
If you search for my dad's name, you find loads of his academic and journalistic writing and achievements. With mum, apart from her books, there are fewer traces.
I am glad I have kept her letters. For someone who grew up speaking French, with Flemish as a second language, she spoke and wrote excellent English.
Her poetry is absolutely excellent, in English and in French.
As a schoolfriend said when I was 14, I was incredibly lucky in being deeply loved by both my parents and equally lucky that they never dimmed in their fierce passion for each other.
So, maman, I think of you today with love and gratitude and I hope that you are happy, wherever your spirit is. Whatever I am that is good is down to you and your intelligence and creativity and energy. I appreciate my good luck in having been your daughter.
Rest in peace, beautiful woman, because your love of so much that is lovely in life is alive in me.
Publish to
Personal BlogGroup: Travel AddictsGroup: New Movies, From Hollywood to IndieGroup: HealthGroup: Environmental IssuesGroup: Digital Journal AddictsGroup: Blog Logs
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