Ann Whittle, is Jon's mum who has written a guest blog this month about planting two trees at Top of the Woods, in memory of her mum and dad.
This January we planted two walnut trees, one for mum (Betty) and one for dad (Albert) and included some of their ashes when we planted the trees.
Following my Mother’s death last summer, we respected her wishes and she, like my Father, were cremated. This left us with no lasting memorial as we had no grave to visit.
Christmas 2015 turned out to be my Mum’s last Christmas and her first visit to Penrallt Farm to see her grandsons Jonathan and Soo’s farm. We had a lovely time in Pembrokeshire that year, even though she wasn’t too well.
By then, she was not very mobile and Jonathan had to drive her round to see the pigs in the land rover as it was too slippery for her to walk across the fields, but she even managed a couple of walks along Poppit Sands and really enjoyed it. She always loved hearing about the farm and I know she was very proud of Jonathan and Soo for all that they have achieved.
This Christmas we all missed my mum terribly. It had felt like there was a big hole in the family celebrations with her not being there.
I wanted to do something special for mum and dad and now with the 2 young walnut trees planted for Mum and Dad they will both be remembered in a tranquil spot in the Welsh countryside with beautiful living trees, which for our family is so much nicer than a headstone in a cemetery.
We had a quiet moment of reflection as we planted the trees ,as we miss them so much in our lives. They had been a very big part of Jonathan’s, childhood – they had taken him, his brother Tom and sister Eleanor on exciting days out and spent their summer holidays with them. They had even joined us in Thailand when the boys were younger when we lived out there for a year, with Chris's work.
However, I didn’t feel sad this time when I thought of their passing as the trees are in such a peaceful field with a wonderful view and if indeed there is a heaven it seemed like they were there.
Penrallt always feels like a very spiritual place and I am sure my Mum and Dad are reunited now and watching us all on the farm, marveling at what a wonderful place their grandson and his partner now own, and, no doubt laughing at the pigs.