We received the phone call at 12.30am advising us that our Nellie had passed away.
I didn't meet Nellie until she had already displayed signs of dementia, so I wasn't able to get to know her the way I'd have liked.
There are so many questions that I would have loved to ask her. About her life. About Adoring Husband and his childhood.
The only information that I have, is what AH has told me about her. We've spent a lot of time poring over old photographs with AH sharing the details that he could remember, of Nellie's early life in England and as a young woman when she first arrived in Australia.
It seems to me, from the many and varied stories that AH has shared, that Nellie was a strong woman, who stood up for herself and demanded what was rightfully hers, so that she could provide a stable life for her son.
Her life, as for most of us, was not so easy and she was dealt some nasty cards. Her husband left her, and took with him, one of their adopted sons, leaving AH with Nellie. That was during an era where there was no pension available and the stigma attached to the title 'single mother', put women in a class that was looked down upon in the community.
She had to make do with a very small weekly allowance that was paid to her by her X-husband. I can only imagine how she must have struggled to get by.
During her very long life, she watched all of her family members and friends pass on, so that in the end, there was only her. That must have been a lonely feeling.
She was a strong, robust woman, who lived alone until the ripe old age of 93, when sadly, after an 'episode', we had to admit her into the nursing home just around the corner from her house. I believe that being so close to her street, made the transition easier for her.
What I DO know, for certain, is that she did an amazing job raising Adoring Husband on her own, because he is the most honest, hard working, generous, warm and loving person I know, with a heart of pure gold. These values are even more amazing considering the many hardships that they endured together.
This is the last pic taken of Nellie, with AH's phone.
She is frail and unlike herself. I prefer to remember her wide eyed radiant smile that she used to greet us with, when we visited her, as if we were her entire world.
I hope she has awakened in her next world, with all of her wonderful faculties, feeling physically strong and surrounded by all of her loved ones, in the happiest of peaceful surroundings.