It’s difficult for me not to think of my own Mother as Mother’s day draws near but then again it’s difficult for me to admit that, despite my writing to my deceased Father, to my deceased Grandmother and my dear cousin who passed away two years ago…I have somehow never written to or about my Mother – the only one still present. A constant in my life since Dad died in 1991. School, University, married life, my own journey as a Mother- she’s walked the walk with me.
As with many of the personal pieces I write, my eyes begin to water with each click of the keyboard. But here goes…
She’s a good one, my Mum. It’s a little trite for me to scream about her good qualities and exclaim how amazing she is and how she is the best… but she really is a good catch.
As I mention in myself acceptance bundle, Mum has nothing to do with the way that I have, over the years, had a warped view of my body and self. She is fluid in her movements, comfortable with her often alternative style and even with weight watchers during the early 2000s or when she discovered she could pluck her eyebrows, nothing consumes her in a negative way. She is unlike many women I know and have met. A peace deep down in her soul radiates out of her very pores.
Memories of dad are few and far between, in fact I find myself clutching even tighter with white knuckles just in case I forget his mannerisms – how he hammered the pegs for the awning at the caravan or his oil stained hands from the garage.
This is not the case with Mum. I have a wealth of memories. Even times when I saw her human vulnerabilities. Glimpses into the woman who I viewed as unshakable. She was the worker, the cook, the disciplinarian, the one who put the bins out and who you had to admit to running her car out of petrol.
Sunday nights after Dad and Granda died we went to Armagh to visit Granny Edna. It was a ritual. Mum loves country music so we listened to this and inevitably we all felt sad as the silence in the car fell during our journeys home. Evocative music took over the inside of our well heated car.
Other moments I am thankful for include when Mum appeared at my primary school during lunch with hairbands after dad died.
I was pretty oblivious to the pain of losing a Father the week before my eighth birthday but she nurtured me through moments of grief with tokens of thoughtfulness. Thanks for the gold headband Mum. If I could get my hands on it now I would sport it!
Mostly, above all else Mum never pushed us in one way or the other. We were encouraged to work hard and to find our talents. Also to try everything once before dismissing it.
I am shocked at how little force we felt on our backs when it came to exams or academia as she is opinionated and has such a strong work ethic.
But knowing we had and have her support even when School/work projects don’t come together as originally planned is something special. I constantly talk to my husband Michael about this in relation to our own boys. They will find their way, our job is to support them in their path.
So Mum, as Mothers day approaches and you, as my top facebook fan (!) will read this next poem, please know even with your overbearing bossiness and the times you think my three sons are yours by referring to them in public as “ my boys”, know that I love you.
I am the woman that I am because of you and your influence, strength and faith. Thanks also for believing I could make this creative thing an actual job, it must be nice not having to use your pension to pay for my health insurance anymore!!
A poem I made in October 2018 when on a writing scholarship in Co. Meath.
She is a well used bobbled fleece.
She is a sharp glass of 1980’s chardonnay.
She is a home in it’s entity,
She is purple. Not mauve, not lilac, but exudes a dominant bold purple.
She is the turkey on the table at thanksgiving, providing for many.
She is the crystal clear day with a sudden gust of wind from the north.
She is morning song and light. Refreshed. Ready.
She is the “don’t get yourself hurt” “I’m proud”, “ listen to me” notes on my post its with each decision I make.
Happy Mothering month Mummy x