I want to remember some Dewsbury mums today. Yes, that Dewsbury and let me tell you there are some very good women and mums in the town.
There is my own Mum who at the age of 42 having brought up her family adopted a little girl which is why I know Dewsbury so well. I have written about my Mum a lot on this blog before. Strong, feisty, intelligent, funny, stylish and so much more. She left school aged 12 and yet educated me so well that I got into Cambridge University.
Down the road was M who had breast cancer and the surgeons took away the wrong breast. Yet M was always smiling and welcoming. A good friend to my Mum.
There was L who ran the Brownie Guide group with commitment even when things went wrong for her. There was K who ran the Girl Guides and went on to adopt a little girl.
There were all the women at church who accepted me as part of the community when I turned up out of the blue at nearly a year old. There was T who nursed her child when she had a hole in the heart. There was N who was amazing in how she used to force money and treats on you all the time. It was only as you grew up that you realised she could not really afford to do so as she nursed her housebound poorly husband. She always said I had lovely skin and hair. I have never forgotten that. Even when I returned after a terrible relationship breakdown, these women were there to put me back together again with their wise words and scones.
There were my teachers and one in particular who spotted that I had an high IQ very early on and helped my parents to cope with that.
There was my friend H’s Mum who you always knew what to expect from. The kettle was on, the humour was great and you never felt unwelcome whenever you turned up and in whatever circumstances. I always found it hard to leave that house. As an adult, I turned up in a state at a family party and was really well looked after when I needed that kindess so much. Special mention goes to H’s sister F who helped me on that day by showing that she cared. They knew even though I didn’t at the time that I would be back in happier times and with children of my own.
There is H herself who is always there as I am for her. Our lives have not turned out as either of us would have expected but I think in our early forties, we will probably be in it for the duration now.
There is C who having last seen me nearly 30 years ago, reached out to me when my Mum was dying and sent a card when she passed away. I value our connection via Facebook.
There is L who came back into my life a couple of years ago and remains one of the most inspirational women I have ever come across. She has overcome just about every bit of bad stuff you can think of to complete a new and supportive family unit. She has built a career to be proud of. I admire her.
A new generation of Mums then that are strong, intelligent, feisty, humorous and stylish.
That is the legacy of a Dewsbury upbringing living on.
There is much to celebrate about that Yorkshire market town.