As Mother’s Day approaches for another year, I had cause to reflect on my own mother, and the massive gap that she left in my life (and that of my sisters and father) when she died more than 20 years ago.
Like all mothers, she was of course an amazing woman. And like all children, I developed a whole new appreciation of both of my parents as I became an adult and eventually a parent myself. My mother, like many of her generation, had countless home-making skills, including knitting, sewing, crocheting, painting/drawing, ceramics, cooking, music (piano and guitar), in addition to excellent parenting skills of course, and juggling the demands of four young daughters, and managing the household on a tight budget.
There wasn’t much she couldn’t do, and do well. I fondly recall my stunning strapless taffeta debutante gown made so expertly by my own Mum – it was more professionally finished than one you could buy in any boutique.
As if bringing up kids wasn’t enough, whilst Dad worked six days a week, she went back to university to do “finishing” (Year 12) when we were still at school, then went on to university as a mature age student. I remember very clearly her enjoyment of certain subjects, especially the “feminist” ones like Women’s Studies! She went on to have a successful teaching career and eventually worked in a not-for-profit organisation before becoming ill.
Over the years, I haven’t spent a lot of time regretting not having my mother around. More importantly, I have spent my energy living my life to the full and making sure that I follow in her footsteps, by making the most of every opportunity in life, and hoping she would be proud of the person I am (although, I think she was probably better on the parenting teenagers bit).
If I have regrets it is for all the things she has missed out on – the birth of my twin boys, and daughter, the marriages of my two sisters, and the birth of my niece. And regret for the pain that she endured, like the tragic death of an 18-year-old daughter, and the treatment for breast cancer and then secondary cancer some years later. And regret for her death at just 50 years old, so missing half of her lifetime, and with it the opportunity to enjoy retirement, travelling and the twilight years with my Father. But the world continues, and we all keep living, and good things continue to happen.
I know she would love her grandchildren, and be immensely proud of her daughters and their partners. I know she would still be grey (thanks for not sharing that gene Mum), and still have wonderful laugh lines (yes, I definitely got that one). I know she would still be active and busy cramming life into every day, and spending time entertaining family and friends. I wish she was still here – but in a way she is – in me!
So Happy Mothers Day Mum. I will miss you and love you forever. xo
Here’s another take on Mothers Day a few years back – Man-Child style!! Mother’s Day Musings