Enduring Gift – Ann Ashley, daughter

I think the most enduring gift we had from our mother was her unhesitating, ceaseless support. From earliest memory, no matter how outlandish our suggestions she would say only “Are you sure you want to do this?” “Ohhh, YES,”  we’d say, eyes alight with the newest venture.

And that was all it would take.

Her own parents, a writer-mother whose talents were equaled only by her self-absorption, and a gentle artist father, seemed to have left her to her own devices for the most part. Where she developed her empathetic well of support is a mystery, but it remained a constant throughout her life. Freely and generously dispensed, it was not limited just to family, although we certainly enjoyed the lion’s share. 

 We were lucky enough to watch as she emerged from being a parent to three daughters to a writer inventing herself as she grew. She was a marvelous example to us, and continued; helping and encouraging other writers, filmmakers and myriad artists. 

There was no shortage of stimulii, strong and witty friends gathered at the dinner table; one remarking that it was like being the shuttlecock at a badminton game. But good humour abounded, and now in her absence, remains a lasting memory that we can all cherish. What a gift she gave us all.