This week has seen the passing of a 93 year old lady who played a key part in my life over 30 years ago. I was married to her only son and although I have been married 3 times, she was the only mother-in-law I have had.She always had a soft spot for me I think because I gave her the precious gift of her only grandson who she doted on and although her son and I were divorced, we often met up at family events such as birthdays and christenings.

She was brought up and lived in and around the New Forest in Hampshire. She married her childhood sweetheart and they celebrated over 70 years together. Milly was born Matilda, one of a twin but sadly the baby boy died soon after they were born. The nursing staff were concerned for her survival and apparently had her christened from a tea cup! Let’s hope her spirit continues in her great grand daughter who has carried her full name as one of her own.

As is the case with many from that generation, not much was mentioned about the war. Milly worked for a munitions factory and had etched the letter ‘J’ into a threepenny piece. This was many years before I arrived on the scene but she felt it was ‘a sign’ that my name began with a ‘J’.

She had her own vocabulary for some things which always made me smile. We had to make sure we had plenty of sealotape at Christmas, the chimleys needed a regular clean and for those of you old enough to remember them, half a crowned was a lot of money! My favourite though came to mind last week and perhaps it was fate that made me buy a hyder ranger for the garden. I didn’t know then that she would be taken from us, so soon after planting it but it is fitting that she will be remembered always.

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