Mother’s Day is a funny old day. As much as I love that my munch bunch are super excited to show me how much they love me with their carefully planned surprises, it’s also a hard day for me because my Mum isn’t here anymore for me to spoil. It’s always a bittersweet day.
My mum was a very strong, very loving, very funny woman. Recently, I’ve been thinking about the ways in which she moulded the woman I’ve become, and the life lessons I learned from her.
Here are my top three:
My mum had the best laugh in the world. It was loud and completely uninhibited. If Mum found something funny, everyone in the vicinity knew that she was amused. She laughed loud and she laughed often, and it is one of my enduring memories of her – this all-encompassing love of life and a big DGAF attitude about what other people thought. Everything is better after a big old belly laugh.
In Nature Boy, Nat King Cole sings ‘The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, Is just to love and be loved in return’. Mum loved in the same way she laughed – big and whole-heartedly. She worked in the ECE sector, and loved the kids she worked with. She had strong friendships, and would do anything for those friends. Family was everything to her. In fact, I have a letter here from her which talks about how much she missed our extended family (who live in Scotland) and reminds me to remember that “blood is thicker than water. Always be there for each other”. I’m trying to instill that same belief in my babies.
She wrote me a letter when I was 18 and overseas and gave me great advice about relationships and falling in love:
“Do it often. It’s painful when it ends regardless of who ends it, but we all get over it.”
I love that her attitude was about not fearing getting hurt, but enjoying it while it lasts. She always taught me to love and respect myself, and to expect the same from others.
Mum was only 45 when she died – way too young. I know there was so much that she would still have loved to do, but I can tell you that she packed a lot of living into those years. She loved throwing parties and having friends around. We had an open home and everyone was always welcome – in fact, my friends would still stop by and visit my mum after I had moved out! She worked hard, and she loved hard and life was lived to the fullest. I hope that the same can be said of me when I die. I don’t know that there’s any better eulogy.
I know how lucky I was to have the mum that I had. I still remember the warmth of her hugs and how I loved burying my head in her dressing gown as a child. I remember how she just ‘got’ when to push and when to back off when I was a teenager. I love that we became friends as time progressed. She would often tell me that I told her more than anyone should tell their mother. We talked every day, and I still miss that.
Mother’s Day is incredibly hard as it’s a reminder of how much I miss my mum, but it’s also a time when I can acknowledge what an amazing woman she was, and how much I’ve learned from her.
Happy Mother’s Day!