Monday, 28 September 2009
I have been contemplating on how to write this blog over the last month and words seemed to fail me. I always knew this day would come but it still doesn´t ease the pain. I am going to talk about my late Friend Norma and what kind of person she was.
Norma passed away last August in her sleep in hospital which at least is a comfort knowing that she wasn´t in any pain. She did how ever have a number of ailments but that never got her down, she just continued to live her life.
When I first met her in October 2005, it was outside London Studios with my mother and a whole load of other women waiting who all had one goal. To meet IL DIVO. There was a Meet and Greet organized by the management of this group because they knew that there were going to be a lot of fans there due to the TV show the group were appearing on. What we didn´t know was that they were going to be filming the Meet and Greet for their first DVD “Encore”.
This camera guy was there asking lots of questions on why we were there and which Divo we preferred. There was me being quizzed on which one I liked best and I of course said Carlos for the voice. Norma was next to us and we´d just met. When the camera guy asked what she would like to see next from IL DIVO, her answer was “I´d like to see Carlos with nothing but a white Apron!" I thought it was hysterical. She then introduced herself and told us this was the probably one of the craziest things she´d done in years since her late husband passed away.
We got on great. We were talking about the up and coming world tour which would start in the UK in April 2006 and she was planning to come to the Wembley concerts. She was telling us stories of all the places she´s visited in the last few years with and without her husband. She was married to a Maltese called Charlie who looked a lot like my dad, and well after many years with this guy she spoke Maltese. She had a black sister called Hilda whom she explained was her adopted sister, because 4 years previously Hilda´s mother had decided to adopt Norma during her stay in Zimbabwe.
Norma was starting to rub off on my mother and I at this rate. She told us that she went to bed with a different man every night, but she was actually referring to was her mp3 player, she then pointed out was now that there were four men she went to bed with every night. I filled her in on all the stuff I knew about IL DIVO by then, especially on Carlos to which she answered “God Tina you know a hell of a lot on Carlos, I hope you don´t call out his name when you´re in bed with your boyfriend. We were crying with laughter.
Since then we´d call each other every week to see how we were and sometimes I´d go around for Dinner. She made a mean roast and even though she was diabetic, she always had some sweets for after for me. When I told her that for my birthday, I was going to Dublin to see IL DIVO, she said she was also going, even though I was in the 3rd row and she was sitting somewhere high above with the “Gods”. We were going to spend it together. When a week before the concert I managed to find a seat in the 3rd row and asked if she was interested, we sold the ticket she already had and bought this seat and it was the best birthday present ever. Sitting in the 3rd row of a concert listening to my favourite group with my “second” mummy and her “flashing” lips.
We did all kinds of things together. By chance we discovered this South American Restaurant, which served the biggest Argentine steak, I had ever seen for a reasonable price. We travelled to Berkshire for the annual UK IL DIVO fan convention, and that was hysterical enough. But she was great company and a brilliant room mate too. She told me that I´d better not snore or gab her during the night. She was always full of jokes.
The funniest moments with Norma was whenever we had a chance to see IL DIVO up close and personal.
2 days before we due to fly to Dublin for my birthday, we were there waiting at London Studios, very early in the morning, freezing our butts, as well as our toes, and we did meet 2 of the four Divos. (two of them were ill) and lucky for us. Our dear Carlitos was there. Norma told him we were going to Dublin and he and the others should look out for us because we´d be “flashing” Carlos´ face was a picture. She finally got her photo with him and we got one with the three of us together.
Another moment took place when the guys were promoting their third Album “Siempre” and Pete Their manager at the time, had decided to let four fans in at a time and Norma was in front and went in the building to meet them. She asked Sebastien and Carlos if they could sign some photographs of her with them and they agreed. Then they looked closer at the photos and saw that they were puppet versions of them.
It won´t be the same without Norma. There were a lot of people who kept asking what is a woman in her late sixties doing hanging around with a someone who was in her 20´s. These were comments from people who didn´t know Norma at all. Norma may have been 68, but she sure didn´t act like it. She act like she was 21 and nothing was Taboo with her. She had lived and experienced it all and wasn´t shy about telling you.
When I last saw her, she didn´t look too well. She´d lost a lot of weight and she´d just got some more bad news about her health. But she was optimistic about the next event that was going to take place in her life which left my mother and I shocked.
She asked me a ton of questions about David and when she heard my mum say she was going to kick his butt if he ever hurt me, Norma replied that she would too. Like I said she was a second mother to me. I could tell her all kinds of stuff and nothing could faze her.
The last place we went to together was at the Colombian place. I fancied Ceviche was a starter and I´d told her how good it was, but it wasn´t the version that I usually ate in Madrid and neither her or my mother liked this version. We had Chicarron as a main and some cheese cake thing and caramel dessert for afters. She took a while to get home. She had to take her time with everything but that didn´t matter because we caught up on a lot of things.
She will be missed greatly by a lot of people world wide. When she connected to the IL DIVO forum in 2006, she made a lot of friends. Some we would meet at concerts.
Norma was a fine example of not giving up when things really got bad. I couldn´t believe the amount of medication she was on. She looked fine to me, but like I said, that never brought her down, it only made her stronger. She was determined to live her life to the fullest and the lesson here is that we should all do the same.
Her departure has left a void in my heart as well as my life. But she always told me that she was prepared for this, she had her will made long ago which included how she wanted her funeral to be even the music. She said she wanted a lone piper playing “Amazing Grace”. She was truly amazing person.
Goodbye Mummy Norma. I will miss you lots.