Sunday, May 9, 2021

A Memoir for Mother's Day 2021 -

Leaving home and mother . . . . . October 1962

Heathrow Airport suddenly appeared so small. Knowing she was standing down there somewhere, my father at her side, my much loved mother perhaps was looking skyward where the grey clouds soon enveloped every plane going and coming, but having no idea which one was taking her only daughter so far away. She already missed her own mother so dear to her, and must have wondered what on earth was I thinking, leaving her, father, brother, family, friends, home, and even country, even though I had been given her blessing, and she worked hard to help me in my dream to see America.

The airplane food was strange. Different, with lots of caraway seeds. Scared?  Yes definitely as this was my first ever flight. Travel to date had been in cars belonging to friends with wealthier parents for Sunday picnics on Dartmoor; double-decker buses into town; the old Western Lady ferry across Tor Bay; day out motor coach trips to Cornwall or North Devon with maiden aunts; tiny row boats on herring fishing trips along the Torbay coastline; trains now and then for school trips to London followed by a boat up the River Thames in the rain to see where the Magna Carta was signed. Another major school trip was a memorable endless train ride north to Shakespeare country to visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, then swooning over a very young Albert Finney in an amazing production of 'Othello' at the Royal Stratford Theatre  . . . . . . but never an airplane.

Coming into New York was exciting. It still is. Breaking through the late October cloud cover, seeing such a huge city from above in shades of dusty grey and misty blue, two thoughts came to mind. How does one ever find the way around a place so huge, and how does the pilot get this huge plane back on the ground! Of course only first time flyers feel that way. When you’ve done it once you know all the answers for ever more . . . . . . . . .

A tribute to my wonderful mother. 

I "crossed the pond" home so many times to see her, and

 she came to visit me many times in the ensuing years.

I miss her and think of her every day.  

A special lady - Gladys Mary 1911 - 2003



  1. This was a touching tribute to your mother and a good read, a short glimpse into your own past. Thank you!

  2. What a sweet post Mary, a tribute to your mother. She lived a very long life, and how she must have missed you, despite the frequent return visits. I noticed the date of your leaving - I left home permanently just 3 months after you, and never lived with my parents again. I moved to the city and started my own life. We were adventurous for those times, weren't we? Happy Mother's Day Mary. xox

  3. Dearest Mary,
    Yes, that feeling has been felt by my dear Mom for 64 times... She also came here a total of four times and final time was for six weeks. Fond memories and guess we always were a lot more focused on our Parents than all those that live right under the nose of them...!

  4. Gosh - 1962, that was some trip back then - such a commitment, though I guess nothing like our ancestors; they really did have one way ticket!

  5. Very special memories of your dear mother Mary, and also your big adventure across the pond. My mother too was born in 1911 but very sadly died in 1973. How I wish that I too could have had her for much longer. She missed out on so much, not seeing grandchildren grow up, some she did not even know about - she was far too young to die.
    Hope that you are enjoying a lovely Mother's Day dear Mary.

  6. What a lovely and thoughtful post...
    Hug, Titti

  7. What a lovely tribute to your mother, Mary. Yes, they are so supportive of our adventures and yours was a very grand one, indeed! That's quite the first flight, and certainly a herald to your rolling side bar :) x

  8. I love reading your stories, Mary, and this is a touching tribute to your mother who surely missed you very much, but gave you encouragement to go your own path. Happy Mother's Day to you.

  9. What a lovely post Mary ….. such a lovely tribute to your Mum. She sounded a lovely, understanding Mother. It must have been very difficult for both your Mum and Dad, waving you goodbye but they wanted you to explore your own life. XXXX

  10. Wonderful post to read. Sharing your memories of your first air travel and posting a tribute to your mother. I can imagine the mixed emotions of sadness and excitement as your plane left the runway. I'm pleased to read that you travelled back and forth still being able to see your mother and family.


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