In 2012, my mother’s health deteriorated rapidly, and she passed away in May at
the good old age of ninety one. I spent much of the year visiting her in the hospital,
dealing with the arrangements, and then sorting out the house; and in amongst all
this the elements of this song came together. I had not written anything serious for
five years, and was somewhat surprised to find this emerging. On reflection, it was
perhaps meant to be; and setting down and performing the composition has been
an important part of the closure process for me.
Every single line of this song has great personal significance for our family; but I
believe I have managed to produce something that will resonate more widely with
people who have been involved with the very elderly. Certainly the initial responses
around the folk outlets have borne this out. For my part, it was a long time before
I could reliably sing this without my voice faltering, and even now it means more to
me than most of my other songs.
My mother’s family did live for a number of years in Egypt, and it was there that
she met my father. He himself died at ninety, when they had been married sixty
one years. Llyn Cwm Bychan, in the hills above Harlech, is the final resting place
of them both.