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Mum’s smile, by Britta Benson

This time of year, the days between Christmas and the New Year, is a time of reflection. It is also the time, when those who have passed away are most deeply missed. I do take great solace in remembering the happy moments I had with my mum. There are millions of lovely memories. Here’s just one. The one I thought of today.

Mum’s smile

Months before cancer declares war on your blood,

we take you out for a day on the beach.

Not the Bahamas, Jamaica, not even Spain,

just Troon, a picknick basket and a thermos flask,

that’s how treasures are made on a cold day in May.

You can’t believe your luck.

The Firth of Clyde your America.

I hear you giggle, giddy with excitement,

your smile so wide it crosses oceans.

The wind blows your hair into a work of art.

Sand in your shoes, spray on your coat,

you dare, play hide and seek with the sea.

You beckon the crests to come closer,

then you run, run, run, laugh like a cheeky girl.

You pick up shells and rocks,

until your deep pockets burst.

We sit, wrapped up in jackets, hats and scarves,

we sip hot tea and look out to the grey.

You, our sun, beams up to the clouds.

We don’t know what’s yet to come

and how much we will need this moment

for future reference, solace and peace.

From now on, every beach, anywhere,

will carry your warm, joyful smile.

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