31 Mar

On 18 August 2021, I posted the following:

See these lovely wee girls with their whole amazing lives ahead of them?

They are my mum and her big sister, Jennifer.

Most of their lives are behind them now, but they are still full of so much love.

Jennifer has chosen to move into a care home this week and I send all my love to her and her family as she settles in to this new environment.

In recent months Mum has talked a lot about her early childhood when it was just her and Jennifer. They were a wee team, never apart. And although they are physically very much part these days, with Jen in Ireland and Mum in Scotland… somehow it isn’t surprising that they both go into homes within weeks of one another. Still doing things together, as they always did.

And here we are 19 months later and they are both still in care homes, being cared for with utmost professionalism and kindness.

But they are so very different. Mum has advanced dementia, and even communication is becoming more difficult for her these days. When I visit her she will generally sleep for most of the time, so I always remember to take my knitting or some writing so I can sit quietly beside her as she sleeps.

My brother and I visited Jen at the end of last month and she continues to be sharp and challenging, and bright, and interested in everyone and everything. It was an absolute joy to spend some time with her.

As a bonus, I share some more pictures of Jan and Alix from the early 1930s, coloured using


You can read more about my relationship with Mum and her dementia starting here, with Taking Smock of the Situation, an embroidery project I started after I realised Mum might have dementia. There I was, embroidering her old fisherman’s smock with symbols relating to her life; while her memories were slipping away, like me at a party I don’t want to be at.

3 Responses to “Sisters”

  1. Susan Garnsworthy April 3, 2023 at 11:56 am #

    A lovely moving account of you and your mother and her sister. So good to record these events and your feelings as they happen. I wish I had done this when it was happening to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • shewolfinthevalley April 3, 2023 at 2:53 pm #

      Perhaps you didn’t record it for a reason? I sometimes wonder why I am recording so much. And then we find another suitcase full of correspondence between my Great Grandmother and her children, and I realise that the recording of the minutiae of daily life, and the keeping of those words is in my genes!



  1. Taking Smock of the Situation | Shewolfinthevalley - April 4, 2023

    […] Sisters […]


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