My mam – the strongest woman I ever knew.

My mam died at around 7:30am on the 12th December 2012.  She passed away peacefully after a massive stroke the night before, all exacerbated by weak lungs and heart.  The day she had the stroke, the 11th December, would have been my dad’s birthday, had he not died in 1975.

My sister was there, by her side until the end, but then, my sister has been there by her side for her entire life, taking care of our mam while I lived too far away to do so.

Nora Evans was the strongest woman I’ve ever known.  She brought up two kids on her own in a time when the stigma associated with that didn’t give people the chance to find out why she was on her own.  She held down more than one job at a time to provide for us, and it was only years later that I really understood what a struggle it had been.  My mam taught me, through actions not words, the meaning of honour, respect, integrity, and responsibility.

She was fiercely protective of those she loved.  She knew her own mind, wasn’t afraid to tell you what it was and didn’t let anyone tell her how to live her life.  She loved her three grand kids and she was as proud of them as she was her daughter.  She loved a good argument, never backed down when she thought she was right, and was intelligent and articulate.

I loved her with all my heart, although I probably never said it as much as I should have.  I think she knew.

The last couple of years hadn’t been easy for her, or those around her.  I’m sad she’s gone, but glad she’s finally at peace, able to rest after a life full of challenges that she met head on, stared down, and overcame.

Rest in peace mam.