My mother was a fine woman. She was strong and jolly and independent. She was not a stay at home mom. She worked full time and I went to pre-school when I was just two years old. I loved it, I could do my letters and numbers before I was four. And consequently, the time for learning at my mother’s side was gone long before either of us ever thought about it. In fact, I we only talked about when I was well into my 30s and discussing stay at home moms versus career women. My mom never quite understood my reasons for not having children, I don’t suppose I fully do either. When I was younger, it was because babies and research didn’t mix, then it was because my husband works such long hours that I didn’t want to be a ‘single mum’ bringing up babies on my own and being resentful. Now, life is a lot less complicated, with two lovely Boxer dogs and a widower Dad to look after.

I wish Mom had stayed at home with us. We would have learnt about things like baking and gardening, played word games, and gone to tennis parties. Oh, we did all those things, but not with Mom. We always had loads of friends, cousins and grand-parents on hand. In fact, the joke was that Mom never learned to cook because Granny never taught her – but she taught me. Granny taught me in the old-fashioned ways, a little of this, a pinch of that, stir it up with passion, and it will taste good. Nothing with any great finesse, but food from the soul.

Mom and I did discover a couple of things in common – our love for words and our love for gardening. Funny that, because Mom always considered herself to be far superior to me in both subjects. And she probably was, but I’m catching up. Mom would have loved to have blogged about her garden. I started my blog when Mom was ill and she never saw the tribute it has become.

It’s good to have a tribute to a loved one. It helps to remember the good times, and it’s an evolving place to express your feelings. People who are interested will come to your blog.

Oh, and one more thing – Mom had a clear sense right and wrong. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, keep appointments, and always write a thank you note. On second thoughts, perhaps Mom taught me all the important things in life.




I am a scientist and a blogger. I have a PhD in the genetics of cardiovascular risk. My Mom died of cancer last year. We learnt a lot and met some amazing people. I want to share with others how to live positively with cancer, and make choices in end-of-life care. My top tip: Ask the difficult questions.

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