It’s difficult for me to remember my mother’s voice or even her face sometimes. On some sensory level I can still feel the softness of her skin as it encased the bone when I would trace my hand back and forth across the planes of her cheek and brow but it’s been nearly forty years now. I dream of her sometimes and all of the normal things I would have liked to have done with her and never did, like treating her to some highlights at the hair salon, imagining her squealing delight at my sons – especially as babies – or having an English tea out somewhere a bit fancy.
My mother was truly beautiful inside and out and possessed great vats of personal charm.
In now vintage photos with her hair falling in a shining coil (“I don’t know, you just wound it round your finger” she answered unsatisfactorily when I asked how this was achieved) she looked exactly like Lauren Bacall, a childish pronouncement that pleased her immensely. I once asked her sister (my aunt obviously) if she thought I bore any resemblance to my mother and she looked at me and said “Weeeell, not to be rotten but your mother was a very good looking woman you know.”