She Is So Special

I don't really like writing about sad things on this
blog, but this week I just feel I need to.

You see a very special person in my life was
unexpectedly admitted to intensive care.

It shook me to the core when I heard, as I had
only been speaking to her a few hours before.
How could this be happening?

Let me tell you about why my friend Teresa is so special to me.

She became my "adopted " mother when I came to Spain.

My Mum died when I was still quite young, so the deep + profound
conversations I have with Teresa I never had with my own
Mum, hence the bond.

She only speaks to me in English-never Spanish.
She went to the first ever bi-lingual school in Seville
(which at the time was run by Irish nuns), and she is
very proud of her language skills

She has advised me on everything from Spanish protocol,
to  guiding me whilst I made my first paella.

We've told each other secrets no-one else knows and
which we both will take to the grave

She is a walking Spanish history class;
most of the bridges in Seville were engineered by her
father who was Franco's principal engineer

her grandmother's house in Seville is now
a gorgeous boutique hôtel in the centre

She was the first woman to drive in her family.

Her first love declared to her he was homosexual, and was found
burned to death in a field (common practice 50+ years ago in Spain)

She went on to marry and has 8 children and
20+ grandchildren

She taught me so much about style, class and elegance.

She never leaves home without heels and pearls.

She have never owned a pair of jeans in her life!

She wears her minks + fox furs with aplomb
in the Winter, and couldn't give two hoots about
animal activists

All her clothes are handmade. Her dressmaker
(who is the daughter of her mothers dressmaker) comes
to her house at the beginning of each season, armed with designs
and  couture collection magazines

The dressmaker is closely followed by the "material man" who brings
rolls and rolls of the most gorgeous fabric to her home.
She always calls me over when he is coming, and I am
like a child in a sweetshop touching all the gorgeous fabrics

She still has domestic help, and her home still has the original
"servants entrance". She doesn't use this; her help
have their own keys ;-)
Her principal "assistant" is the daughter of her 
mothers help

She is a staunch Catholic (hence the 8 children;-)
but I have seen her get down on her knees and pray
on an Arab prayer mat to pray with a woman
who was dying of cancer. The
smile on the muslim woman's face is 
something I will never forget.

She still has mint tea, in a bone china cup and saucer
every day at 5pm; the way she was taught at school

When one of her newly married sons died of a brain tumor, she 
refused to cry in front of her children. She said she had to be 
strong for them. But when we were alone, she would
cry + sob like a baby, and all I could do was hold
her hand and "be there".

She refused to speak about me returning to the UK.

However, this month we have had to, and she always 
says "Van I hope I die BEFORE 
you go back to London, because I won't be
able to say goodbye".

Here is what is haunting me:

*in the 10 years I have known her
I have never known her to be ill.

* She looks physically at least 20 years younger
than she is.

*apart from when she had her children, she has
nerve been in hospital

*this Friday she was admitted into ICU, 
and the doctors have
no idea what's wrong.

* at the end of the day she is 82 years old!

All I can do is pray that this is all a coincidence.

Is there anyone in your life who doesn't fit
the typical stereotype of a "girlfriend", but who
has made the biggest impact in your life; is your
biggest cheerleader, and is always waiting at
the finishing line for you waving their
flag furiously?

I would love to hear your "sisterhood" stories to
get me through this week 


  1. She sounds like an amazing and influential woman. Best wishes to her and to you.

  2. Teresa sounds like a wonderful friend and mother-figure, Vanessa. I'm so sorry this is happening. While she is in her 80's she still has so many good years left ahead. I hope the doctors find out soon what is wrong. In the mean time I will continue to pray that she'll make a full recovery! XO

    1. TYSM Karla for your prayers. Hugs to you too Sweets xx

  3. Teresa, what a beautiful relationship you both have!!! Such a wonderful way of describing her.
    I hope she recovers well!

  4. Oh V my eyes have filled up, she sounds like such a wonderful torch bearer through life.

  5. I agree with Tabitha, she sounds like one hell of friend and if I had a prayer mat, I would be on it, praying for her speedy recovery xx

  6. oh im so so sorry to hear this, i will be thinking of you and your dear friend and please god she will be ok, you write it so beautifully im sure she will be so proud to see this, its a wonderful tribute to her, i too have a special friend she is a catholic nun who was my first ever boss when i was 18 and im 42 now so we know each other such a long time, she has been my 2nd mum to, always there for me, when i was sick she was unbeleivable she moved mountains to get me seen quick and looked after, i love her so much and she always has my best interests at heart, she loves fashion can you beleive and we often go shopping together and have our lunch out she loves days like this, so i love treating her, so i can imagine your anguish now and i really hope she will pull through, i will say a prayer for her and i wish you all the best, kisses from dublin xxx leonie

  7. I'm so sorry to hear that. She sounds so beautiful. Just like my grandmother. :(

    1. TYSM and for popping over. Hope you won't be a stranger x

  8. Oh honey, I am so sad to read this, I can only imagine how you are feeling :( Teresa sounds like an amazing and very special thoughts and prayers with her and you and hope you have some good news for her soon.
    Hugs to you my friend XX

    1. TYSM Sim. Things are starting to look up, but I'm too frightened to get to optimistic.
      Thank you for your lovely words xx

  9. She sounds like such a wonderful woman! I'm so sorry to hear that she has taken ill and I'm praying for her speedy recovery. Sending positive vibes and hugs and kisses your way xoxo

    1. TYSM Lovely. I hope you are doing well also ;-)

  10. Oh my sweet friend... sounds like she is an Angel on earth and she is far to young - at 82 she has many years ahead of her and many things to still teach you. I'm adding her to my nightly prayers that her recovery is quick and the years to come are filled with more joyous memories for you both. You have been truly blessed to have such an fabulous woman in your life, to help guide you through all the turns life often throws our way. May the Angels of medicine guide her doctors to do exactly as she needs to be with you again. And she will be making many visits to the UK to see you.

    Stay strong and believe ... never give up. Big hugs and blessings to you both! xo C. (HHL)

    1. TYSM Celia. Your words are so comforting. Things are looking a little better today, so all the positive prayers + vibes are working.
      Sending you hugs also Sweets xx

  11. Vanessa, This is such a lovely woman, you have been blessed to have her in your life. I shared your journey with this woman with Amanda and both our eyes filled up. There is strength in prayer and it seems you have a lot of people praying for her, stay strong, I know how very hard that is to do, but I know you have a lot of faith. I PROMISE I will continue to pray. Please keep us posted. (((HUGS))) xoxo

    1. TYSM Dee. I know how much faith you have so your words mean so much to me. Things are looking more encouraging; she is out of intensive care. I'm trying not to get too excited yet. I will keep you posted and thank you for your lovely words xx

  12. I'm so sorry Vanessa and the thought of you crying in the shower alone is so sad but I understand why, I feel so bad for your adopted mom Teresa. I really am praying for you and her. That is such a scary thing to happen,


  13. Vanessa, I can relate to how you feel even though I haven't had the exact same experience. It's such a wonderful relationship that you share with Teresa and I do hope that she recovers soon from the mysterious condition that she has.

    I've been lucky to have developed connection with many females in life beyond relationship by blood. It's a nice feeling to have that you know they understand you (at least part of you), care about you and will cheer for you. And Vanessa, you are one of those wonderful friends that I feel close to heart.

    I know it's a difficult time for you. Hang in there. Have faith that things will happen for the better.


  14. Darling V, I can only hope and pray that she will recover quickly. I loved this post about Teresa, she sounds like an incredible woman. You're very lucky to have her in your life.

    I have an incredible bond with so many different women - since I don't have any sisters, my BFF's are my lifeline - more so than they'll ever know. Whatever happens, know that we're all here.

    No matter what, you stay strong too Vanessa and don't over think too much, it's not good for the soul!

    Sending you hugs and sunshine!

    1. TYSM Sandee and you are so right about "don't over think too much". An occupational hazard of being a Psychologist ;-)
      Sending hugs back Cupcake xx

  15. Vanessa! This is incredibly sad - I really feel for you. How lovely that you have had this fantastic lady in your life. Hopefully, she will make a speedy recovery and you will have her back. She sounds like such a treasure. xx

  16. Vanessa. this is the most beautifully written post. Teresa sounds like such a dream lady. I will be praying for you and her. My thoughts are with you.

    1. TYSM Leigh. She is getting so many prayers + positive vibes that today I heard she is out of intensive care. So thank you so much for you kindness Leigh. Hope summer is continuing to be a blast Sweets xx

  17. Besides college roommates, the closest female relationships I've had are with older women. I appreciate their perspective on life, how they old true to "older" values, and they seem to like my balancing the line between embracing the values of the old guard while being open to new things (like an iPhone).

    I am sad that you may be at the beginning stages of losing your friend, but what an incredible gift you have in knowing this woman! I think you have a picture of how you want the second half of your life to look like so you can be the 80-year old friend in the future to a younger woman navigating a new world.

    1. What a lovely way of looking at things R :-)
      All the prayers are certainly working and she is now out of intensive care. I'm trying not to get too carried away as it is still early days.
      TYSM for your lovely words xx

  18. Oh Vanessa, I'm so sorry to hear of Teresa's situation. She sounds like such an incredible and admirable lady. :-) I have someone like that in my life - a Danish second cousin who loves me no matter what and inspires me every day. :-) Big hug to you and earnest wishes for Teresa's recovery. XO

  19. She sounds like an amazing woman. I'm so sorry she is in the hospital and that you are so worried about her. I hope that you both get good news soon. Sometimes the most unlikely friendships are the most special. She sounds like she has been a mother-figure to you as well. Hang in there.... I'll keep you in my prayers. xo

  20. Hi Vanessa, my heart just sank as I read this post. Its a beautiful ode to Teresa, she sounds like a real life angel with the greatest character and wonderful spirit. I sincerely hope that she will recover and everything will be okay. You're both in my thoughts and prayers.

  21. Vanessa,

    This is so very touching. What a amazing woman and role model she must be to you and others. I often wonder why some people just float along, don't make an effort to do good.. while others go above and beyond. Consider yourself fortunate to be in her circle and enjoy these moments with her. I will think of you both and pray that she will feel better soon.


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