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Memories of My Mum

I am thinking about my Mum, as I always do every day, but Mothers Day coming up has me I writing my thoughts down……

“She was always there for me….”

She was the perfect homemaker, she always cared about what we all ate and our health and wellbeing was in her hands. My brothers and I grew up on home cooked dinners and puddings. Made with love, she always had an interest in cooking which never wavered as she aged. She had travelled to Italy as a young woman in the 1940’s and tried to learn the language as well as enquire how to understand the food. One time a few years ago I popped in to see her unannounced and she was smashing lemongrass on the chopping board. ‘What are you making Mum?”, I asked. ‘Thai chicken curry for one”, she replied. Bearing in mind this is taking place in a less than exotic kitchen in Barnsley, South Yorkshire……it sticks in my memory.

“She was always there for me….”

As I became a Mother myself, she bravely got on a plane in 1980 and travelled alone to Sri Lanka to meet her first Grandchild. She came to the nursing home with her hand made shawl she had spent months making, then later as we were settling in to life with a new baby miraculously materialised some nipple shields out of her handbag while I was sat crying wondering how I could bear the next feed.

“She was always there for me….”

When I needed her to babysit whilst I learned to drive, or even just to have an hour to myself. She travelled to America many times and ‘held the fort’ while my Hubby and I went gallivanting. She was brave and travelled via New York or Chicago or whichever route the cheap air miles ticket would send her.

Once we had returned from a conference in San Antonio Texas, to hear the kids say they had had a great time and been to the play park while we were away. I couldn’t understand how they had got themselves there, but it transpired that she had taken our 7 seater mini van out of the garage and driven without license or insurance. ‘How did you know where it was?” I wondered. It transpired that the eldest of 3 children at the age of 7 had navigated. I can only hope to this day that she had driven on the correct side of the road!

“She was always there for them….”

When the children went to boarding school she was there for them. With my Uncle Horace, she would pick them up for numerous exeats and half terms, stopping for toasted teacakes on the way home to Barnsley. She would feed them up before they went back to school. “She was there for me then too…..”

Well into her Seventies, she would brave the Motorway. Driving the 40 miles or so to York in her little Smart Car, she would turn up for coffee and a chat with a basket of baking and then casually set off home before the traffic got too busy.

I don’t believe in living with regret, and I know that my Mum instilled in me the sense of freedom that my life was my own and my place was with my partner, but as my Mum’s health failed in the last year of her life, “I am sorry that I was not there for her….”

She was a great Mother and I feel blessed and grateful for my upbringing and the family values she instilled in us all.

I say to everyone who has a Mum still living to appreciate them every day, not just on Mothers Day. Where there is disconnection, heal the disharmony. Where there is distance, make more effort to travel and when old age kicks in, find your patience and tolerance because life without your Mother is one the hardest of challenges to endure.

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