We had a lovely, quiet Christmas. We drive to our favourite beach and walked, and collected sea glass, fossil crocodile scales and cowrie shells. We also had several early morning visits to a lovely cafe that overlooks one of the Island's ferry terminals. We always managed to get a window-side table, where we could watch the Christmas visitors leaving this lovely place to return to their jobs and daily life.
On New Years Day I rang my mum to wish her Happy New Year. I had gone to bed early, too tired to wait for the fireworks on the TV. December 31st is the anniversary of my mum and dad's wedding. They went out for a meal! It is a rare event, but they had a lovely meal and my mum sounded full of hope for the new year, with plans for the garden and her hobbies
My mum told me my brother had a bad cold. The doctor said it was a virus, and there was nothing he could do apart from advise to drink water and take paracetamol.
Two weeks later my mum caught the same virus. Knowing what the doctor had said, she didn't bother him with her symptoms.
She died on 17th January.
Since then the weeks have been a blur. Every sunny day I think my mum has missed this. Every new little bird I see in the garden, I cannot tell her about.
Yesterday was my birthday, my first without my mum. No card from my dad, he has memory problems but even if he hadn't , my mum did all the card sending.
On my birthday we went to the cafe overlooking the ferry terminal for the first time since Christmas, and got our favourite seat by the window.
Then we walked on the beach, in the sun.
And now I have written something on here, for the first time this year, and my last entry, about sleepy cats, seems a lifetime away.
Life goes on. The swallows returned. The apple trees blossomed. The leaves emerged from their winter sleep. Flowers bloom. The sun shines. Birds sing.
But a bit of my head is stuck in Christmas still, and the last photo my mum sent me of her small and ancient tree with new lights, pink and blue and looking great!