Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Tribute to Mavis....

Mavis Portrait
At around 20:30 tonight, we received the terrible news that Jan's Mum, Mavis, passed-away after her cancer. It is common to read of people passing away after 'losing their battle with cancer' but that wouldn't be the right statement in this case. Battle infers some sort of struggle and she never once struggled. Mavis never really battled with cancer. She lived with her illness courageously, with dignity, and without one word of contempt or self-pity. She took the available treatments, even the experimental ones, but always accepted, from the day she heard the news, that she had to be positive and live on as normal, as though she never had it. In fact, she once told me, when I asked her how she dealt with it, that she didn't have cancer. She just had 'something' and that is what the doctors were treating. What it was, she didn't need to know.

It is fitting that I write this entry in Ellie's blog as Mavis loved Ellie so very much. She never tired of seeing the new tricks she was learning on her many visits, and she constantly told anyone who would listen what a good dog Ellie was and how many different things she could do. When on the phone, she would always ask how Ellie was. Ellie, in turn, rewarded her fondness with her usual enthusiastic licks and wiggles. We will remember, with great fondness, the times that Ellie and Mavis shared together. Indeed, only a week before her death, Ellie enthusiastically jumped onto Mavis's bed to make sure she got her goodbyes in too. We all perhaps like to think that our dogs know things in such circumstances, but what I will say is that seconds after I received the news of Mavis's passing, Ellie jumped onto my knee and just laid there. Maybe she just reacted a change in my mood, who knows. Draw your own conclusions, as I will.

From a personal perspective, I have a great deal to be thankful to Mavis for. Around five years ago, I was seriously ill and, without her selfless support, in so many aspects, I probably wouldn't be alive to write this piece now. She gave so much of her time and helped in so many ways throughout those many many months. And that really was the essence of Mavis - selfless and giving. My own life has been such that I was never really able to experience normal family life. Mavis gave me a decade of real motherly love, caring, and affection, and for that I shall remain so eternally thankful.

Both Mavis and I were avid snooker fans and she would come and stay with me each year to watch the televised events. Something that I always looked forward to. Before she died, she told me, "When you watch that snooker, remember, I'll be there." And you know what, I reckon she just might be. Though I suspect that watching those events might be a little tougher for a while.

Mavis, if you're reading, thank you, and let's hope for a Mark Selby win this year, eh? Love you always.