paddybrown.co.uk

12th Nov 2014

Paddie Brown (1945-2014)

Mum

My mum, Patricia Ann (Paddie) Brown, née Magill, died on Saturday. Sudden and unexpected, but peaceful. The funeral will be on Friday at 11am at Mountpottinger Methodist Church, Albertbridge Road, Belfast, where she devoted so much of her life, mostly in the interests of feeding people. She ran lunch clubs for local pensioners and fundraising breakfasts, she was part of the fellowship team that provided food and refreshments for all kinds of church functions, and recently she led the drive to replace the church kitchen.

She was a teacher for many years, mostly at Knocknagoney Primary School. She recounted with some pride how one of the younger kids said to her face that she didn’t want to go into her class in future years, because “you’re evil”. But every once in a while when we were out shopping or for lunch we’d run into one of her former pupils, who was always pleased to see her and grateful for her good influence on their lives. I can’t think of many teachers I’d say that about.

In recent years she had terrible pain from arthritis in her left knee. About six weeks ago she had a knee replacement operation, and as she healed and got the joint working her mood was so much lighter. She was in great form and laughed more easily, and her physio told her she now had 90% mobility. The exercises she was doing were very tiring, but she was a determined old bird and was going to get the best out of her new knee. It seems so unfair that she didn’t get to enjoy it, and the end of that grinding pain, for very long. On the other hand, maybe it’s better to go when you’re on the up.

She was an amazing grandma, who adored and was adored by her granddaughter Zoe, her grandson Sam, and her de facto granddaughter Chloe, none of whom ever wanted to go home when they were at her house. The many friends she’d made at church, at school, in the various streets she lived in, are as devastated at the news as her family.

I’m not going to try and express what she meant to me as a mother. It’s too primal, there are no words for that. She leaves an unimaginable gap. I was privileged to be able to grow beyond the child-parent relationship and get to know her as an adult, to enjoy her sense of humour and her unorthodox outlook on life. She could drive me nuts armed only with good intentions. But in times of crisis, she was still my mum, who could make it all better. You never quite grow out of that. Bye mum. I’ll miss you.

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