Saturday, January 11, 2014

A legacy of loss

I have always been an optimist from as far back as I can remember, which in a way is odd because I have lived through some very difficult days.
 I am a motherless daughter. When I was a young child my mother succumbed to a rare and aggressive cancer which claimed her life when she was just 45 and I was only 11. That one huge event shaped my life.
I was both strengthened and scarred, but I learned very quickly that to survive this tragedy I must look after myself and be able to adapt in a sometimes scary big world.
I was the eldest daughter of our little family and also just stepping into my teenage years.
We were immigrants from Scotland, all of our extended family were far across the sea. There were no doting aunts nearby to enfold us into their embrace. My younger sister and I were like little boats bobbing about in a huge ocean in need of mothering. My Dad was a lovely, gentle, man who was overwhelmed by his grief and loss. He was always there to provide for us but he was ill-equipped to live a life without my mother. My older brother was a great support but he had his own life to pursue. 
Yet we survived and even blossomed into a close and loving family. The loss of my mother
birthed in me a deep longing to be a wife and mother. I wanted to recreate the family unit which I had lost. So by the time I reached my mid twenties I started my own lovely family. Our family always included my dad who came to live with us when he retired and my sweet sister who we all adore. I was blessed with three beautiful daughters and the best husband a girl could pray for.
For me family is everything! My love of family is what makes my world turn. It keeps me grounded and centred and everything I do flows out of that rich heritage.
Mum 1944

My mum had a deep and abiding faith which she passed on to her children. I grew to trust that God was still good. He could turn sorrow and mourning into dancing. He could make the crooked places straight.
 One of my very favourite verses is Romans 8: 28 "And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes."


We are strong because of her, she is the roots of the  tree and we are the branches.

My mother and two of her sisters, with children round their knees.

My mother holding me, my brother and small cousin along side.


Fiona and I the year my mother died.


  1. Sitting here with tears in my eyes as I read your beautiful story Elspeth.
    A rich heritage indeed, your Mum left you.. and from those seeds grew a beautiful tree in the form of your Faith and love that you have in turn passed down to your beautiful girls.
    You are a lighthouse <3
    I am so honored and count myself privileged to know you and love you.
    You write so beautifully, keep sharing!!!

  2. Thank you so very much dear friend.

  3. This is a wonderful tribute to both your parents but also weaved through out is a beautiful thread of belonging, family and most of all love... you have a beautiful heart El xox

  4. Your mother was a beautiful woman. I enjoyed reading this post - it was very touching.

    You do write so beautifully!