The Mother-in-Law joke. It is – was – a staple of the stand-up comedian. I’d like to take a moment to talk about my Mother-in-Law, Carol Richardson. Y’see, she died today.
Cancer’s a bitch. It really is. It doesn’t care whether you’re young or old, rich or poor, man, woman or child. Over the last few years, this lymphoma has been present in the background, treated and driven off, only to return again stronger and nastier than before. Carol, Jimpy, did better than anyone ever expected. She beat the odds. She beat the odds with style, style I hope I have should I end up the same way. In the last week, though, everything caught up with her.
I knew Jimpy for as long as I’ve known my wife, give or take a few days. A wonderful woman to talk with, to drink with, to be with. Great cook, tech-savvy. Didn’t like reading fantasy, anything about wizards at all – but loved the Dresden Files. I still have the T-shirt, somewhere, slightly pinker than it was when she bought it for me thanks to an incident with the washing machine I’d rather not discuss!
You want an example of how to deal with an illness like this? Look to her. Go where you want to go – you want to visit Australia? Do it. Go to Shetland in search of the northern lights? Do it – even if there is 8/8 cloud cover every time you set foot on the damn island. Grab the disease by the balls and squeeze. Jimps never let the cancer have the upper hand. She went down fighting. I only hope I can do the same when my time comes.
The taste-testings! Here’s 3 fantastic gins, which one’s best? The Armagnac. The tea! Few people have touched my life as she did.
And if anyone tries a Mother-in-Law joke around me they’ll be introduced to a whole range of new and interesting experiences. Interesting, but not necessarily pleasant.
Goodbye, Jimpy. And thank you.