Happy Birthday in Heaven to our Mummy

Our beautiful mummy
Hazel Carmine Sandiford-Manning aka Mummy

This week I’m thinking about time … a lot.  And thinking about time often finds me thinking about my mum who we lost to pancreatic cancer in 2009.

At 69 years old she left us, never to see her grandchildren make it to secondary school, get married or have children of their own; never to be a part of our family get-togethers or a valuable member of her church anymore; never to hold us in her arms or tell us how much she loves us. She had so many things she wanted to do, and of course there were just as many things we wanted to do – with her and for her.

Mummy would have celebrated her birthday today on October 12th; her family and her friends miss her a lot!  But we are grateful for the time we were able to spend together, maybe because we focused on quality rather than quantity.

As I reflect on her life and the hearts of everyone she touched, I recall the selfless way she found time to minister to so many different people, young and old, regardless of race or belief, without a word of complaint or bitterness.  We learnt many lessons during her time with us but one of the more significant ones was illustrated in her commitment to  sharing her blessings with others.  Whether you lived close by or far away, you could be sure of receiving bananas, tomatoes, beans, peas, fresh herbs and other ‘goodies’ grown in her garden if she was coming to visit or you planned to stop by her home. Giving was very much a part of her nature and she willingly donated her time to her church, and whatever was available for those less fortunate.

Looking back now on all of those years, the good and bad times, the ups and downs, the days when she laughed and those when tears fell, her life can be summed up in one word: LOVE.  And that’s because mummy loved the land, loved her family, loved her friends and most important of all, loved her Lord.

There are so many great memories and I always let them lead me to the words of one of her favorite songs: I Know My Redeemer Lives by Nicole C Mullen.  Do you know it?  You can click on the title to listen to the beautiful words but this song became a powerful testimony to the greatness of God, not only to our mum but to all who shared in the rewards of her labor; she not only told us but showed us that no matter how hard life may be, there was no doubt that our redeemer truly lived.

Today we thank God for the gift of her life even as we say: “Happy birthday in heaven Mummy! We love you!”

my mummy
Mummy, my sister and I (in shorts – yikes!)
Smiling down at me, baby show winner :-)
My mummy smiling at me, baby show winner 🙂
Mummy posing
Posing for the camera

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” I Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)



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Barbadian mother and lover of laughter; story teller and best-selling author; happy to follow God's lead and to live my mantra: "you've gotta be a rainbow in the lives of others when it rains."

3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday in Heaven to our Mummy”

  1. Seems we both lost our mothers at age 69, our mothers both knew how to grow things and used the returns to help with the children, isn’t life strange. Guess what I adopted her as a mother and she treated me as such. I know that she and my mom had a lot to discuss when they met in heaven. Happy Birthday Adopted Mom


  2. Gale, I never met your mummy, but I can tell from your words and your love for her that she was awesome. I lost my mother at 54 to breast cancer, and I am comforted every time I dream of her because in the dream she is not sick, just joyful and well. Its the memories that keep you going, so continue to hold the memories in your heart for when you need them there and continue to share them as you wish.

    One love my sis (Margo)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We lost mummy to pancreatic cancer (another story in itself). I am like you: whenever I dream of mummy she is happy and laughing; not sick at all. 54 is much younger than 69 but age does not matter one bit when it’s your mum and you are close to her. Love and hugs sis aka we make awesome daughters 🙂


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