When my mum crossed over – it was time, and she was ready.

Her last and final stroke made her bedridden, and she needed to be fed intravenously. The consultant predicted she would go within eight weeks – at a push 12 months.

But she had other plans as she lived for a further 14 months.

I spent most Saturday mornings at the family home with her, and during the week before one Saturday, I felt the urge to say thanks, and so on my next visit, before leaving – even though I was going to postpone it until the next time I saw her, I decided to do it that evening.

I stood by her bedside and said, “Mum, I am good. We’re all fine,” mentioning her children and grandchildren by name.

I thanked her for tolerating my loud music and always having an open door with my friends.

I thanked her for forgiving some things I did that I shouldn’t have done – even though on occasion she did not speak to me for a week.

I said you are a great mum.

She died the following morning.

And over the years since her passing, I’ve grown to appreciate the wisdom and wit she shared through her quotes and mannerisms.

She had one for every eventuality.

✅ When someone called, I’d hear her say -You’re out of my mouth but in my mind – which meant I’ve been meaning to call you.

✅ She often said, “Monkeys always know which tree to climb,” – meaning we always know what we can get away with and with whom.

✅ You cannot suck a bone and blow a whistle at the same time – which means you cannot do two opposing things at once and expect to succeed. I learned this the hard way, i.e., I couldn’t go clubbing and study and expect to pass my exams easily.

✅ Don’t use a torchlight at night to see what you can see in the day – for instance- in one of my relationships, she didn’t like what she saw, but I was infatuated. It was clear for everyone to see what was wrong but me.

She brought her children up to work together and support each other – like a team, where everyone knows their roles and positions. She gave me my first experience of probity and leadership.

On the anniversary of her passing, I continue to be grateful to my mum and more appreciative of the value of her wisdom.

Today, to whom should you say thank you?