James has had to come back from his hols, because his Mum was taken ill with a chest infection, which she did not survive.
The only two things absolutely sure in life are taxes and death, but I certainly do my best to mitigate the former.
My father predeceased my mother by some 14 years. When she died, for the first time ever, I actually felt grown-up. There wasn't anyone above me. There was just me.
Three things come back to me from that time.
The first is that my mother had got dressed in her new Basler suit, put on her makeup, done her hair and then dropped dead. We decided to bury her in the (extremely smart) new suit, only to discover the credit card bill with the purchase on it.
When I told a Godfather of mine of her decease, he said " Well, if it was a big day, your mother would surely have been looking her best".
The last thing was the funeral. Mother was never one for being morbid and morose, and the funeral in a small Lancashire town reflected that. Afterwards, I thanked the minister, only to be told, in a broad Yorkshire accent," It were a bit light for a funeral, in my view"
Mum would have been delighted.