I was going to put out the last episode of my series The Curse today, but when I saw the Wicked Wednesday Prompt – Purple – this was the first post that came to my mind.
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter. I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells And run my stick along the public railings And make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain And pick flowers in other people's gardens And learn to spit. You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat And eat three pounds of sausages at a go Or only bread and pickle for a week And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes. But now we must have clothes that keep us dry And pay our rent and not swear in the street And set a good example for the children. We must have friends to dinner and read the papers. But maybe I ought to practise a little now? So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
By Jenny Joseph
This was my Mum’s favourite poem as she grew older. When she died I asked her best friend to read it out at her funeral. (We also played Neil Diamond songs, her favourite.)
I always remember my Mum wearing bright colours and as the years passed by she often wore purple. Although she was far too much of a lady to spit.
Her parents came from reasonably privileged backgrounds.
Gran was very well-educated. In those days this was quite unusual where women were concerned.
As a child Granddad attended an extremely posh private school in Paris. The family were part of the in-crowd, his mum’s portrait hung for a time in the Louvre.
Receiving a very LARGE inheritance as a young man, my Granddad met and married my Gran. It was a true love match but they lived such an irresponsible lavish life, that they actually spent all their money by the time my Mum was born. So she was never rich but was always rather refined.
My Mum was unique and I loved her!
I always read with interest what other bloggers have to say about their parents.
Marie writes beautifully about her Mum’s life and death. I do have a few regrets regarding not spending enough time with my own Mum when she was old and frail and wearing purple. I was bringing up my children and life seemed so very busy. Another regret was not being with her when she passed.
Eye’s Dad died recently and she posted a very poignant comment about finding a poem he had written at his house. This threw me back to the time shortly after my Mum’s death when I was clearing her flat. I came across a letter she had scribbled to a friend but never sent. Written a few weeks before she was admitted to hospital.
The letter described how wonderful her son was and how fortunate she was to have him. My brother, adopted like me, lived nearer to her and without any children of his own was able to visit more often. There was no mention of me or my children. It was as if when she penned the note we did not exist. Mum was very involved with my kids so I knew her mind was playing cruel tricks on us all.
I wept, and felt momentarily like I’d been stabbed. Then I quickly remembered seeing her the day before she died when her lucidity that afternoon quite shocked me. We talked about my daughters and happy times together. That final day we were vividly real in her mind.
My Mum’s death is something I have got used to but cannot imagine ever getting over.
So many memories.
Thinking back to my school days makes me smile. Mum was so glamorous and never one of the crowd. I would get so cross with her for standing out. I wanted her to be frumpy, like the other Mums. As I grew up I became proud of her individuality and dress sense. And purple suited her.
I celebrate my Mum for so many reasons. after all she chose me 😉
Wearing purple for her was not decadent, it was liberating.