Thursday, 12 September 2013

Mum's Way - Ian Millthorpe

Angie plaited our daughters hair every morning. 'Watch how I do this' she said. 'I'll never be able to do that' I replied. 'Yes you will' Angie said quietly, 'because I'm going to teach you.'

For Angie Millthorpe, being a mother was everything. 

Childhood sweethearts, Ian and Angie had always known they were meant for each other and wanted nothing more than a big family. But eight children later and aged just forty-eight, Angie fell seriously ill; when she was told her illness was terminal, the welfare of her beloved children and her adoring husband became her only focus.

Raising that many children would be a big job for any couple; to raise them alone, without their mother, a superhuman task for Ian. But this was exactly what Angie wanted him to be able to do. So in the last months of her life, Angie compiled a list of 'rules' to guide Ian in the future from lunchbox favorites to bedtime rituals and favorite lullabies, Angie's manual gave Ian the strength and certainty that he could fulfil her wishes after she was gone. 

This is an inspiring memoir that celebrates an irreplaceable wife and mother, and the legacy of enduring love.  

Simon & Schuster UK  - Autobiography
Year 2013 
Pages: 266
ISBN: 978-1-47112-664-2

Many years ago I watched an old black & white  film called 'Who Will Love My Children'  that was about a terminally ill women and mother of eight children.  The Millthorpes story reminded of this film. Both women fighting a cruel disease that would eventually take them away from their children, but that is where the similarity ends.  Where as in the film the women is desperately trying to find families willing to take each of her children and love them as their own, Angie Millthorpe didn't have such a worry,  because she was going to teach her husband Ian everything he needed to know.  Their family would be able to carry on after her death and would be able to continue running her household exactly as she would have done 'Mum's Way'.  It is an inspiring story of the courage of both Ian and Angie throughout her illness to make sure their children's every need would be taken care of long after her death.  It is written in good humour and not sadness and will make you laugh and cry throughout the highs and lows of their journey.  Well worth a read but you will need a box of tissues handy  at times. 

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