I wish I could though, just for one day go back in time and retain more of what she was like. I would write about her life, her childhood, her stories. I would record her voice so I could hear say words of encouragement and tell me she loves me. I would take more pictures of the two of us and more with my siblings together. When someone passes away, there are no more photographs. You only have those that you've taken and can hang on to those precious memories. My mum was always behind the lens of the camera so there are actually very few photos of her. One fall day, we booked a photographer and had our family pictures done. My dad had requested an individual picture of my mom and the photographer managed to capture every ounce of beauty that my mum possessed.
She was beautiful inside and out. She took great care in how she looked and was always well made up. Even at the end. She loved her family passionately and took great care of us. Family was very important to her and time together was spent at the lake, skiing in the mountains and one final family trip to Florida in 1994. She always enjoyed a good cup of tea and was willing to drink it with just about anyone who would sit with her.
When I write about my mum, I feel like I write the same things over and over. I want people to know how much I love her and how much she is missed. Even after fifteen years, the dull ache is still in my heart as I remember the woman who was such a critical part of who I am today.
March 23, 1955 - July 13, 1999
In loving memory of Shirley Van Neck