Saturday, 28 March 2009

My Friend, Persil

My darling friend, aged 90, is in hospital, having suffered two heart attacks on Tuesday night. I call her Persil. Her real name, incomprehensible to me aged 2, was whittled down to Persil. And Persil she has been ever since. I met her when I was three months old. Quite simply, she has always Been There. And I love her Hugely.
Now she is lying in the hospital bed, tubes galore, a little anxious, and rather wanting her own bed.
Persil has a wonderful daughter, three grandsons, and an array of great-grand children. They all feel like family.
Persil used to come and clean our house for us when I was little, right the way up to the time I had my Eldest. Flour to the armpits, she would make Apple Pies, and Treacle Puddings. Twinkly eyed. Kind. Steady as a rock.
My mother relied on her. My mother had chronic anaemia for years, rendering her exhausted on occasion and needing help with the house. Persil cleaned, cooked and looked after me if needed. My older brothers and sister had gone to boarding school by the time I was 5. Persil helped make those potentially lonely days good ones. Sometimes I would stay at her house, a little bungalow in the village. Her husband, Boy (yup, couldn't say his name either!) would take me for walks, play football and cricket with me (until he was hit in the chest by a cricket ball one Sunday afternoon match in village and damaged his heart for good) and generally ensure I had a good time. I can remember these wonderful toffees he would buy me. In blue shiny paper.
I loved them both.
Then, one day, Boy died. Apparently he woke in the night, turned to Persil and said, 'I'm going to look after you. Don't worry.' By morning he was dead.
I will never forget darling Persil, sitting in her chair the next day. Seeing Boy's chair empty. I couldn't bear it for her. Yet she coped. The years have passed and she has filled it with her gentle ways.
And now... while she lies there I keep remembering so much. I feel about 5 again. Memories of quiet, happy days. Once while I was staying with her when my parents were away, we went to my house to feed the chickens and cats. When we had finished I asked if we could go home now.
That's how I felt about Persil. She was Home.
She remembers little things about me. Apparently I used to say when I couldn't reach something...'Persil, I can't stand hard enough.' And would tell people to 'Be a Nice Time' if they were off out.
She has a vast array of floral dresses... each one sort of the same. I am always asking her, 'Is that a new dress?' It never Ever is!
If you read this, send up a prayer for my friend.
You'd love her.
All 4' 11" of her.
I do.

23 comments:

Kitty said...

Thinking of Persil and her family. And you too. x

Elaine said...

Prayer made as requested for Persil, her family, and you. She sounds like a rock.

Ladybird World Mother said...

Thank you Kitty and Elaine! How amazing to have you thinking of her and knowing how special she is! Thank you. X

Granny on the Web said...

Oh what a lovely memory, and put in such a well written way.
Everyone should have a Persil in a memory, I have one called Auntie Boardman, called that because she was only known as Mrs Boardman to others. She also was chief cook and bottle washer cum cuddler and storyteller when needed. She died when I was about 10, but she is never forgotten.
Prayers that Persil will feel no more discomfort after her heart attacks, and will have her passage into the next life made as easy as possible with some good care and most of all the comfort of knowing you are there for her. God is good; death is but a door we go through to reach his realm.
Love Granny

Neas Nuttiness said...

I'll be happy to. How wonderful that you have had such a special lady in your life!

PurpleClover said...

You can tell how much you love and appreciate her.

Will be thinking of her, you and your families.

Ladybird World Mother said...

Granny - what lovely words. Thank you. Persil and Auntie Boardman sound like soul sisters!
NN - Indeed I have been so lucky. Wish I had seen her more since I married and moved here... but am so grateful for all the wonderful memories she has laid on for me!
PC - thank you so much...she has a wonderful family... and I am so glad you can tell how much I love her...

Troy said...

What a blessing for you to know such a wonderful lady. I'm thinking of both you and Persil at this difficult time.
People never leave us whilst they stay in our memories.
I don't know what else to say but thanks for sharing your special thoughts with us in this posting.

the mother of this lot said...

She sounds wonderful. I will pray for both of you.

geraldgee said...

Memories of good honest people keep us all going. xx

Robynn's Ravings said...

Oh how very lovely (as I sit here with tears streaming down my face). How dear, how wonderful to have a Persil in your life.....how blessed.

I'm so sorry she is very ill right now and you know I WILL be praying that you have more years with her and she with you. It's obvious you are precious to her as well.

(((hugs to you)))

With Love,

Robynn

Ladybird World Mother said...

Troy - Thanks so much... it is amazing how comforting it is telling you all how precious Persil is...and getting such kind comments. Much appreciated. Will have to pass them all on to her daughter... she's the one I feel for. x
themotherofthislot - thank you... prayers are hugely appreciated!
gg - so true... I am truly uplifted by all the memories of darling Persil... such a good person.
Robynn - oh no, you have set me off now! Thank you for such lovely words. Hugs back!

Kevin Musgrove said...

best wishes

imbeingheldhostage said...

Definitely will send up a prayer for your sweet friend--and you. *hugs*

trashalou said...

Oh sweet Persil. My thoughts are with you, Persil and her daughter. I shall think of you often and send a prayer to the gods to look after you all.

You are indeed blessed to have a Persil in your life.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Persil sounds like a very lucky lady to have you for a friend. Your respect and love shines through.

CJ xx

Ladybird World Mother said...

KM -thank you so much...
imbeingheldhostage - that is so kind... cant believe how nice you all are...thank you!xx
trashalou - I really really am... amazing how writing something down makes you realise how much it means... thanks so much for lovely comment.X
CJ - that really is the nicest thing to say... thank you!

Pam said...

I'm guessing here - Priscilla and Roy? She sounds like a wonderful woman and I'm sorry that you're losing her. God bless XXXXXX

Deb said...

My "Persil" was a great character named Grace, who came into my life when I started work as a low-paid library assistant in a big engineering firm in Boston (USA). I was 21. She worked on the switchboard and had a raunchy sense of humor, but underneath was a very proper New England lady. She used to bring me home made beef stew in big glass jars (which I would always clean and return to her as she was the embodiment of thrift). She once said to me in her characteristic immodest way, "You'll never forget me". And of course I never did. Thinking of your lovely Persil...I do so understand what she meant to you.

Deb

Deb said...

My "Persil" was a great character named Grace, who came into my life when I started work as a low-paid library assistant in a big engineering firm in Boston (USA). I was 21. She worked on the switchboard and had a raunchy sense of humor, but underneath was a very proper New England lady. She used to bring me home made beef stew in big glass jars (which I would always clean and return to her as she was the embodiment of thrift). She once said to me in her characteristic immodest way, "You'll never forget me". And of course I never did. Thinking of your lovely Persil...I do so understand what she meant to you.

Ladybird World Mother said...

Pam - Aha... so thats where its from!! Darling Persil is still in hospital and cheerful.. thanks for your lovely comment!x
deb - Grace sounds wonderful... and those beef stews positively mouth watering. Aren't we lucky to have known such people... x

Tatersmama said...

Awww Honey...I'm crying for you both.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and Persil, so please keep us updated, okay?
How wonderful that you've had such a special lady - and friend - in your life and I'm praying that Persil has many more years left to share with you all!

God Bless...

Ladybird World Mother said...

Tatersmama - oh, thank you!! Darling Persil is still in hospital and test results are out today... she is still cheerful and wonderful... thanks again for such kind kind words. XXX