by Johnny McNeill – unpublished author of ‘Gaslighting Gilligan (© 2017 – free download – released via Berlin on 25th June 2017).

Betty, My Mum, My Hero – a tribute by her proud son Johnny

💙 There are no more days left to be taken for granted, only broken sleepless nights,

They tell me it’ll ease; this dark tungsten pain, I hope that ‘they’ are right.

💚 Though in this sadness I feel my Mum’s strength and spirit emanating from beyond this Earthly plain,

She’s guiding us through our beautiful memories day and night, to navigate this unwelcome, unrelenting pain.

💜 She’s gone back to the Universe, to dance with Elvis in her favourite emerald green dress and to play heavenly bingo and bowls,

Her pain-free eternity now filled with joy and laughter, is to be spent with like-minded souls.

💙 Her fiery red locks told of her passion for a life well lived, and a party-spirit filled with effortless refinement and flair,

As did her love for her family, her friends and for a free Scotland – all signalled by her bright ginger hair!

💚 A diminutive Scotswoman she held her own, standing giant amongst the tallest of men,

My dear wee Mammy could talk sense into six-foot drunken lads – and aye – even when they called her “hen”!

💜 In her winter years she loved her TV detective shows, set in exotic locations near and far,

And so with some cheeky amateur theatre I’d ask her the same cliched question of each; “Who dunnit Ma?!”

💙 And then there was that time she told me she’d read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ – which she regaled with a hilarious crimson-red flush,

And me – absolutely buckled, squirming with my fingers in my ears shouting “Too much information Ma!” – she made this grown man blush!

💚 Armed with her dry sense of humour and her howling laughter – she carried a worldly glint in her eye,

Which shielded her scarred childhood story written in resilience – from which she is now released – as with the angels she does fly.

💜 Yet I know she’d not want us to feel this sorrow for the rest of our blessed days,

But to celebrate her life aboard this spinning miracle, in our best of possible ways.

❤️ And so unwavering in her love, determination, principles and beliefs but could so easily just go with the flow,

Her name is Betty McNeill, she is my Mum, and she will always be – my hero.

I’m so glad I told my Mum a couple of years ago that she was my hero. These were her song’s at the service…

Gathering: How Deep Is Your Love? – Bee Gees (4:05)

Entry: Daddy Big Boots – Elvis (1:32)

Reflection: Unchained Melody – Elvis (2:32)

Exit: Something Inside So Strong – Labi Siffre (5:37)

Lastly, as a spiritual man I know we journey on from this plain, as did my Mum. However I perceive religion to be man’s politicisation of spirituality. And spirituality is simply the science we don’t understand. When I read her the Pierre Teilhard de Chardin quote above my Mum simply responded “Sounds like heaven to me son”.


“The trouble with fiction is that it makes too much sense. Reality never makes sense”. Aldous Huxley

‘Gaslighting Gilligan’ by Johnny McNeill; a contemporary dystopian ‘fiction’ about the intrinsic, interconnectedness of both personal & State-political domestic abuse, was released from Berlin on 25th June 2017. It is copyright ©️ but is a *free*-to-share public-service PDF download from here. 🇬🇧🇺🇸🇨🇦🇦🇺🇳🇿

Twitter: @GasGilligan