Joie de Vivre

Created by Satee Hall 2 years ago

Eleanor Hastings Atkinson, Helen Hall...Mum…Granny,
Nana, or Great-Granny Eleanor .. many names and many dimensions of the same person. 

All of us remember her in our own way and she is all that and much more. She continues to live with us, within us with all those memories and all those things she passed on to us … her children, her family! 

When you think of mum you do not think of her as an old woman… a 94 year ‘old’ woman! You think of a woman who loves watching Clint Eastwood films, who loves to read the latest magazine, who enjoys playing with dogs and cats, who laughs heartily and freely, who enjoys flowers, birds, sky! Who was particular about how her hair looked, how she was dressed, what she ate! A woman who cared deeply for the animals and did her bit for the environment. A woman who is brave, strong and independent and who likes to stand tall! When you think of mum, you do not think that she ‘aged’ gracefully. You think … here is a graceful woman. And that is extraordinary! 

Her ‘extraordinariness’ comes from her childlike love of life. When she told us about herself…  the little girl who was passionately interested in skating… she became that little girl! When she told us about how she used to go to watch the films she loved .. you could see the glimmer in her eyes, as if it was happening now. 

Her love for life is rooted in her independence. Whether she is the young girl who loves singing or she is doing her job, being a wife, a mother… and after the divorce as a single mother… facing all those problems that life brings in front of you from time to time … she was strongly independent. She would get on with her day… do her best and sort her life! Such independence comes from deep honesty and straightforwardness and hard work. All the qualities that she has passed on to her children. 

From such honesty comes respect and a sense of equality for everyone. Such honesty does not discriminate or does not judge. Mum gave such honest environment to her children. And that is her greatest legacy to all of us. 

In the last few years, we have realised one more thing because of mum, and that is how strong and close we all are to each other and how we all cared for and looked after mum.   The support and help that we all got from her till today cannot be described in words. 

Each of us did their best to help her retain her sense of independence and her joy of life and still helped her closely. As if different aspects of her personality were coming together to help and support her.

Michael with his sense of social justice and social welfare, Blanche with her spirit of independence and love for humanity, Peter with his sensitive and deeply philosophical soul, Siobhan with her helping, honest and caring heart, Robin with his creativity and love for life! Mum’s love for music and her artistic personality is shared by all.. … all the qualities of mum have blossomed and multiplied through all her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren! 

 Mum is still celebrating life through all of us and will continue to do so!