That skinned rabbit grew up to be my mum.
The wonderful lady, known to everybody as Joan, was my nan.
Nan died in 2008 at the age of 98. She was a tiny little woman but she left a very big hole in our family. I miss the endless stories that she would tell about her life - stories that would loop around and start again. I miss her big heart and the huge amount of love she had for each and every one of her great grandchildren.
Just before she died, I took my newborn baby daughter to meet her. It was hard to see the once vibrant lady reduced to a little more than a bag of bones but her eyes sparkled when she gazed at the latest addition to the family. Although the contrast between one so close to death and one so new to life is very stark, I love the photographs that were taken of them together and I share them here in honour of her birthday.
My nan's last words before she let go of life, spoken to her son, were "Put me on the stairlift, John". We like to think that she had seen her Stairway to Heaven, her handsome husband (who had died some 30 years before) would have been waiting for her at the top and she wanted the quickest way up.
Happy Birthday, Nan.