On the 25th November 2010, my mum died almost ten months to the day after being told she had cancer. She wasn’t a ship nut like me, my dad and many of my friends, but she did enjoy watching them pass the house and being told about my cruises when I came home. She hadn’t travelled much in her life so she vicariously did through me. Sadly, due to her health, the last ship she managed to see was Regatta on the 19th August. Even in hospital for three weeks with Mayflower Terminal in view from her side room, she couldn’t look because the bed was facing the wrong way. She said then, and after coming home in October, she missed them. I had a cruise booked on Aurora for the 27th-29th but didn’t want to go. My dad insisted since it was a weekend so nothing to do and he’d be fine so I went but couldn’t wait to get home! I’d always speak to her after we passed to ask if she saw us as well as from the port(s) of call. I missed that. I’d always buy the boiled sweets, fudge etc as a present because she loved it. This time I left them on the shelf and it was difficult. The first stalking I did was Queen Victoria off to refit and passing Queen Elizabeth with journalist, Steve Read. Freezing cold but a welcome distraction from various stresses. Her funeral was on the 8th and in the afternoon my dad and I went to get photos of Thomson Dream then gave up waiting for Arcadia to sail. Tonight we watched Black Watch sail by from the downstairs window and someone was missing in the chair with her monocular saying how pretty she was lit up. When Black Watch returns it’s my turn. Originally I was heading to the Canaries on Oriana for Christmas on the same date but after the cancer diagnosis, had to cancel. I couldn’t go if she was still here and woudn’t enjoy it if she wasn’t. A shame we don’t have the deposit refunded OR can move it to ANY cruise regardless of length like Americans can. Legalised theft! I’m looking forward to running away to sea this time to escape the awful week which begins on Monday with my birthday. When I booked Constellation for next year there was no chance she’d miss this one which shows just how fast and unexpected the end came. I couldn’t face what was meant to be the first at home without her only it’s this year instead. I have never felt a stronger urge to get away.
Janet Dempsey 1946-2010. Love ya, mum!