The sun shines east, the sun shines west, but I know where the sun shines best
Can you hear me Mammy?
I think you can
We had so much fun together.
Do you remember that when I was a boy I had an autograph book, and me Granddad, a tough itinerant coal miner wrote this in it…
“I’ve never been so happy in my life as when I was the arms of another man’s wife…my mother”
Many of you will have experienced the bond that in 99 times out of 100 exists between a child and his or her mother.
It’s special. They love you first, unconditionally, and that’s why you love them.
I remember when I was small my bed was in my parent’s bedroom, in a 2 up 2 down owned by the coal board.
Dad’s pit, Frickley Colliery operated a shift system, of three 8 hour shifts a day – “Days”, “Afters”, and “Nights”.
When Dad’s shift was “Days” he’d leave his bed before 5 to get to the pithead, and that was when I‘d crawl into bed with you, Mammy and nestle into your warm soft body.
No I’ve never been so happy in my life as when I was the arms of another man’s wife…my Mammy”
Mammy was the daughter of a blind school teacher, a lady blinded in an accident on a transatlantic voyage.
Your mother came to live in Doncaster and teach blind students.
And that was how you Mammy came to live in South Yorkshire and marry me Dad.
In the 1950’s Mammy worked in Freedmans – a local Polish factory when a Christian evangelist organised a lunchtime meeting there.
And so you became a Christian.
Your mission in life then became to bring about the same life changing experience in your family.
To be frank the children at home were a soft target.
But Dad, like his father before him was a tough uncompromising miner, and I heard him say on more than one occasion “Tha can take thee bed up to that chapel.”
Mammy’s response – and this is the inspirational mark of this woman – was to meet aggression with love.
My sister will finish that lovely memory when she speaks.
Roll forward to last week, when in hospital Mammy asked me
“Am I dead?”
I answer from one of the inspirational responses handwritten in one of the many condolence cards we were sent.
“We are so sad for your loss.
Your mother was a lovely lady who always saw the best in people.
She was long suffering and loving.
Of course life is forever changed when we lose someone close to us but they stilllive through us and give us strength”
Again roll forward to last week, when Mammy asked me for a second time
“Am I dead?”
No Mammy you’re not, because I know you knocked on St Paul’s door
And he told you that when he wrote 1 Corinthians 13 he had you in mind.
You ticked all the boxes
You were patient and kind. You didn’t envy, nor boast, you weren’t proud.
You always met adversity with love. You loved for England.
That’s why in the reading today Mammy’s family chose Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.
I don’t know about you but I don’t like everything Paul said about women.
But sometimes –as he did here he hits the nail squarely on the head.
As we walk out of this room we’ll listen to the anthem You’ll never Walk Alone as long as you have hope in your heart.
Mammy had that hope.
Here’s a woman whose life was, as Lynne read in the earlier reading, one of faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love
Lynne also read that “what we see now is like a dim image in a mirror”
I remember when we saw Mammy at Port Regis last summer, and I decided to clean her windows on the outside – each pane measuring 6″x4″
Unfortunately I put too much elbow grease into the cleaning and pushed one pane completely out.
As I did this Mammy was looking and said “That’s better, I can see clearly now.”
Well Mammy you could then and you can now.
You’re an inspiration to your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren.
Mammy, I’d walk a million miles for one of your smiles.