Mormor’s centenary

Karen's centenary
Mormor’s centenary
May 8, 2021 • By Joshua Cohen0 comments
Karen holds hands with Joshua and Jacob

My mormor (mother’s mother in Danish) would have been 100 years old today. How she would have loved to get a letter from the Queen on her birthday! We joked about it many times, especially after she turned 90. She knew that she and I held very different views about the royal family and that was part of the joke.

We often found something to joke about, and I can remember quite clearly her distinctive laughter as we joked with one another or watched a comedy show. This was often Last of the Summer Wine which centred on the antics of a group of older male friends around and about in the Yorkshire countryside. Morfar (her husband Norman, my grandad) loved the show and I think watching it after he had passed away was a way for her to remember him – even though I think she quite enjoyed the show itself, too.

Joshua hearing about the Romans for the first time. July 1981, Northumberland.

As the years pass, it inevitably becomes harder to remember the finer details of someone’s personality. Yet, whenever I hear that show’s theme tune, I feel I could be sitting next to mormor, her in her comfy green armchair in her little ‘granny-flat’ at my parent’s house in Walthamstow. More often than not, there would be a small glass of Bailey’s in front of her.

There are so many little things and experiences like that that evoke her life and her presence. While Karen Finch should rightly be remembered for the great and impressive things she achieved, it was those everyday special moments that made my mormor who she is to me – warm, loving, humorous, fiercely intelligent and always so happy just to spend time with her grandchildren.