On Tuesday evening I had supper with Nim .
I can honestly say I think of her everyday .
When my pain is really bad ,I think of her .When I have John, Jacob and Florence with me I think of her .When I wake up and I don’t want to get out of bed I think of her .When I hear John Denver’s ‘Follow me ‘, I think of her .When I eat Thai food I think of her .When the tide is way out I think of her .
Grandma ,Florence ,and I first met Nim around 8 years ago when we had lunch in her Thai restaurant in Crystal Palace . We loved it – the food ,the atmosphere,the disabled parking space directly outside ,the internal ramp , the way she helped Grandma take her coat off and the fact she always came and sat with us and chatted .Sadly, the restaurant was often quiet . We knew nothing about her personal life .
Roll on a year ,and just before we drove Grandma back to 106 to spend Christmas with us , we went to Nim’s for lunch – it was packed and we were happy for her .She found time to come and sit with us and explained the large group of civil servants were from her husband,John’s office .I asked her which one he was .Sadly she told me he had died 3 years previously .I asked if they had children , She told me they had three, Robert,David and Kate , but they had died with John on Boxing day 2004 .The Tsunami had swept them off a beach in Thailand .They were all together when the wave hit ,but tragically only Nim survived . Our whole family were devastated for her .We continued to go and eat there .We took friends ,friend’s parents ,Richard and Lise and their family ,Grandmas’ friends etc.We so wanted that restaurant to work for her .When we sat with her we would talk about her children ,her husband, her Dad in Thailand, her music ,her accountancy exams etc .She gave me the most beautiful book , full of photos and memories and poems ,celebrating the life of John ,Robert,David and Kate .I keep it safe and treasure it dearly
Then Rosie died and I wrote to Nim. She wrote back
Then Grandma died and so I no longer went over that way .
But this Tuesday I did and it was wonderful .We hugged so hard we couldn’t let go of each other . her pain and loss is just too big and too hard ,yet she goes on in a positive and inventive way .She is kind and gentle and caring and to me , truly inspirational .I promised to take John, jacob and Florence back later in the year .
These are final words that Nim wrote to her children and are printed in the book
”Robert,David & Kate …when you were born into this world,mummy’s life was filled with joy and hope.You had given mummy such strength to bring you up and to be the happiest children and you were…even at the last moment of your lives .I am so proud that you three beautiful children were thoughtful,righteous,intelligent,polite and kind like your daddy. Mummy’s heart is breaking to learn that you are no longer with me .I know that daddy will take good care of you .I wish I had my life time with you…to see you live and grow….not the other way around .We shall meet again….one day…somewhere….somehow.May you all have a sweet dream….may your innocent souls be blessed and rest in peace…and may my angels stay forever young …..”