Lil was my best friends mum and today would have been Lil’s 96th birthday.
She might have been Titselina Bumsqueaks mum but she was as good as mine too. As far as she was concerned I was one of hers. Oh how I loved her and miss her.
She had a bloody hard life. She had six kids of whom TB was the youngest. Her husband died when TB was two so she had to struggle on her own.
She was hilarious. A real “sarf” Londoner who wouldn’t eat “foreign muck” as she called Chinese and Indian but oh did she love a doner kebab!!
She loved chocolate and sausage rolls, cream cakes and daffodils. I made a chocolate fudge cake once and we were too full to eat it after dinner. We buggered off out to the pub and when we came home, we fancied cake!
Could we find it?! Not a chance! We were even looking in the washing machine to see where it was!
Next morning TB said
“Mum, where’s that chocolate cake?”
“I ate it”
“What – ALL of it???”
“The WHOLE cake??????”
“Well I didn’t want it to go off”
I never did thank her for the best excuse of my life!!
She was so quick witted. TB went through a spate of dirty phone calls and her mum picked up the phone to one.
“I watch you getting undressed every night”
“Well you must have a bleedin’ ‘elicopter because I live on the 16th floor”
I could talk about her all day. There’s enough stories!
I was so honoured when TB asked me to give a eulogy at Lil’s funeral so today, on her birthday, here it is. I’ll be eating cake in her honour later
TB and I have been best friends since we were 14 years old. We were inseparable.
If we weren’t at one house we were at the other and more often than not it was Lil’s house as we were both so much happier there.
For many reasons Lil has always been more of a mother to me than my own mother was and I knew I could – and I did – turn to her any time I needed to.
She was always there for me.
Everything I’ve learned about life I learned at St Lil’s School for Little Angels (that’s me and TB by the way!)
I’ve learned when you get a hard knock you can sit and get over it for a minute but that’s all. Then you pick yourself up, plaster a smile on your face and get on with it.
I’ve learned that the best way to deal with pain in your own life is to help someone else.
I’ve learned that the answer to every problem in the world is a bar of chocolate – and for really BIG problems add a cream cake – Oh and my wonderful telephone manner is a direct result of emulating Lil’s incomparable and utterly unforgettable way of answering the phone!
Most of all, I’ve learned that you don’t have to be an Albert Einstein or a Marie Curie to make a difference in this world.
Little people make the biggest difference.
Lil tried to help everyone she could. She literally fed everyone and anyone that turned up and whatever she had she would give you if you needed it.
She had the biggest heart of anyone I know.
She taught me that helping others was the greatest thing any human being can do. There are angels walking amongst us and Lil was one.
Anything good in me was inspired by Lil. I use her expressions daily and smile when I pick myself up sounding just like her.
I admired her so much.
Her constant cheerfulness, the fact she never complained and how she would do anything for anyone.
If when I die someone says something like this about me then I’ll consider I’ve lived my life to my fullest potential.
When I was a little girl I wanted to be a princess with a sparkly tiara and someone else to do the washing up!
When I was a bit older I wanted to be a teacher and now that I have kids of my own I can see there is nothing better to be than a Lil.
Someone who inspires others to do the best they can for themselves and for others, to share willingly what they have and to raise a laugh with a cheeky retort at every conceivable opportunity.
Everyone should be lucky enough to have a Lil in their life. I’m especially lucky – because I’ve got two. Lil and TB. Without either one I wouldn’t have the other.
Goodbye Lil. Thank you for everything and God bless, I’m going to try to be just like you every day of my life – until we meet again.
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