Simple prayer

Yesterday, my mother's best friend died. They came together through Siberia, through Persia, the orphanage in Africa and to England in 1947, young women, stateless, family-less.

I remember Ciocia Zosia's voice in our dining room, on summer mornings when I had no school and slept late; I remember her voice rising and falling and laughing a lot.

She was widowed in the 70's, an early death by cancer. Her children were still young. For many years, she and my mother worked together in the scoold meals service, serving up dinners to the mainly Sikh and Bangladeshi children at the Sparkhill Institute, and then at the Nelson Mandela Primary School.

She was a good woman, a good friend. This is a simple prayer to wish her soul safe passage.