My mum died 11 years ago today, on her second favourite day of the year.
This morning, my aunt Ina wrote about her relationship with my mum - as a sister and as her best friend. And it made me think about memories, and how people come with us. I'm an atheist, so I don't believe my mum is with us in a spiritual sense, but what I do believe is that people are carried on in how they impact on other people's lives, and how they are remembered.
Our mum, along with Ina, gave Hazel and I an example of how our relationship should be, and I am greatful for it, because I could not ask for a better sister.
She was our champion. Other than if I'd done something particularly bad, I can't remember her ever saying anything negative to me. I was supported in everything I set my mind to and told firmly I could do anything. I think a large bit of the successes in life Hazel and I have had comes from this encouragement.
She loved us, and our family and our friends fiercely. When I say I was 21 when mum died, people tend to say it's a shame, I was young. But while I'd love to still have her and I miss her every day, I feel lucky for having her for those years, because I was loved for every minute of them.
She saw the best in everyone and was intellegent and kind and warm and funny.
Being honest, she was also bloody stubborn, which is a trait I got. But it also meant she did not give up, and I don't generally either.
That, I think is my mum's legacy; a family who adored and miss her, children who support each other, have self-belief and try to live by her example, and lots of people who have memories and tell stories of a warm, funny, compassionate person.