Here is James’ tribute written for Mum
“There isn’t really much left to say about Mum. Both Grandma and Rosie’s tributes describe her warmth and loving nature perfectly. I am so lucky to still have three strong, intelligent and fiery women to guide me through life.
Mum inherited Grandma’s wicked sense of humour, her hardworking nature and most importantly, that indescribable safety that comes from a Mother’s presence. Even as Mum lay in hospital, fighting this terrible disease, when I held her it was her who made me feel safe, and I know she felt the same way about her own Mum. My wonderful Grandma.
Rosie has, ahead of her own schedule, inherited Mum’s compassion, her willingness to listen, and her firm desire to bring nothing but joy, positivity and a little glitter to the world. Mum’s heart will forever beat in the chest of my wonderful baby sister.
Mum and Cliff never married, something I know they both wanted to do. Plans had begun to take shape but Mum’s illness meant those plans never came to fruition. I know, however, that Mum didn’t need a piece of paper to know that she loved him, or that he loved her. He spent months caring for her, and didn’t leave her side.
Cliff is a solidly built mechanic, he’s made of hard stuff, always covered in motor oil and grease. He is, excuse my language, a big hard bastard.
And yet, when Mum was in hospital, he painted her toenails when she couldn’t any more. He brushed her hair, picked out her clothes and dressed her. He carried her and bathed her and he loved her.
Mum saw me through being bullied, getting in fights, trouble at school, my first girlfriends, difficult family relationships and issues with mental health. And she never, not once, left my side or reacted angrily. When I failed my GCSE’s, she stuck with me and believed in me.
When I got in to University at the age of 22, she was the first person I called. And after three years, she was the person I wanted to be there more than anyone else when I graduated. I happily gave her my degree after I had collected it, believing it to be just as much hers as mine. Without her, I would never have made it past upper school.
She was my rock, my friend, my counsellor and my idol.
My guide, my teacher and my home.
She was my Mum.”