This is me (Cath Siswick) and my Mum (Jan Symes). I love this picture because it was one of the last times we managed to have a family day out. You wouldn't know it from the picture, as Mum was always good at putting her own problems aside for the sake of her family, but at this point she was undergoing cancer treatment. The only indication is that she is giving away her drink - most out of character!
On the 30th October 2020, after a year in remission, Mum sadly lost her 2 year battle with cancer. Her passing has left a massive hole, but I feel so lucky to have had her in my life. My Mum was a strong, independent, kind, caring and fun loving lady, whose door, and kitchen, was always open to all that knew her. An inspiration to many, she had an immense talent, and I am grateful to have inherited her passion for art and creativity.
Anyone who has lost a loved one to cancer will know how cruel it can be. After discovering that the cancer was back in September, Mum deteriorated rapidly. The last month was a particularly traumatic period for the whole family, but our suffering was eased in the final week of Mum's life by the incredible care and kindness that we experienced on being omitted to Dorothy House Hospice. I am utterly grateful to those working at the hospice who consistently go above and beyond, providing outstanding care, that meant that Mum felt safe and supported in her hour of need.
Mum loved Christmas; family, friends, beautiful decorations, good food and merriment were all among her favourite things. Mum would plan gifts carefully, deck the halls, and cook the most amazing food. Each year she would paint a beautiful watercolour Christmas card to send to all she knew, and so I thought it a fitting tribute to sell a selection of Mum's Christmas card designs in order to raise funds for Dorothy House in thanks.
This Christmas more than ever, we could all do with some Christmas spirit, and it would make me so happy to think that Mum's beautiful little Christmas cards might provide some festive cheer to all that receive them. SO DIG DEEP FOR A FANTASTIC CAUSE!!!