Mother's Day

Mother's Day can be a lovely day, or it can be a day that cuts you like a knife. Every cardboard-bloody-advertisement in the supermarket urging the purchase of chocolates or flowers 'For Mum' makes walking down the supermarket aisles a trial.

I feel the memories moving like a kaleidoscope. When my mum died, and my sister (who still lives in the house we grew up in) sorted through drawers and boxes, and I was touched and amazed by the amount of things she had saved. Weird, scribbled drawings, and clumpy clay models - and even a poem I won a radio competition with, aged 4.  Love tokens, all of them.



I can't help it - I play back my memories, like a film, of when my mum was dying. She was at home, as she wanted.  Her bed had been moved in to a living room that had seen family Christmases, birthdays, visits; the watching of films as a family on a Sunday afternoon...a room steeped in warm memories. That final Mother's Day was heartbreaking. My throat is tightening, and my eyes are filling as I write this. My sister, brother and I knew, as we bought little pots of flowers for her, that it would be the last time we'd do this. Even though we were all, chronologically speaking, middle-aged, we all felt like little lost children. We knew we were losing our mum. No more chances to tell her how loved she was; no more chances to reminisce about the lovely cakes she made, or the parties she conjured for birthdays (including an amazing dark Halloween birthday during The Winter of Discontent), or the stocking she filled, or the mad, multi-layered lasagnes she made. Once Mum had gone - at last - to meet our dad, the utter and absolute love of her life, we were orphans. For me, already a nanna myself, this brought desolation.

Then I think back to other Mothering Sundays. I remember little sticky cards and paper flowers made by my own children with warmth and delight. But I also remember the first mother's day after my daughter Isobel was stillborn. She had died at the end of January, and there I was, as Sunday School teacher in early March, handing out little posies of flowers to all the women at church with my little charges. I felt the weight of my lost shadow-child keenly that day. I felt the wound but celebrated with the children I had already...a mantra I still hear repeated by mothers I counsel today.

The following year, I read from the pulpit on Mothering Sunday with my new daughter Eleanor wrapped round me. She didn't want to be left, and I was not about to say no.

So, in this this meandering post I just want to say that as we celebrate Mother's Day, with breakfast in bed, days out and lovely cards, we need to remember the brokenhearted. The walking wounded. Let us cosset those who miss their mothers, and those who miss being a mother. The mothers who have lost children. The mothers who have lost babies and have empty, aching arms. For the middle aged orphans who miss their mums as keenly as a child lost at the supermarket. Let us remember the dads who are filling Mum's shoes, despite their own painful loss.

Mother loss, however and whenever it happens, is a terrible thing. Whether we had good mums; mums who tried their best but failed for whatever reason, or mums that were just a bit rubbish, Mother's Day hits us straight in the chest. It leaves us gasping. It's one of those 'Death of a Thousand Cuts' losses - if you loved your mum and have lost her, you go to ring her, and remember she's not there. You go to buy her a daft little present that will make her laugh, and you remember you cannot give it to her. You think about popping round to drop off a cake, or flowers, and realise that she is gone.

Whatever your situation is today, never forget: You are important. You are cherished. You are loved.

Happy Mother's Day xxx






Comments

  1. Hi Lyn, a beautiful post. It's almost three years to the day since I lost my mother, and I think of her every day x

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    Replies
    1. Sending love xxxx They are still such a large part of our everyday lives, aren't they?

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  2. ... and you are loved back Lynn. your heart is huge and love is boundless. Snowdrops and daffodils to you xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sending love and HUGE hugs right back to you xxx

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  3. Beautiful words Lynn - comforting as usual. I face this Mother's Day the first as a motherless child. And I'm surprised how emotional I feel about it. I feel I didn't make enough of mum when I had her. My own child is helping to make it a special day. And we will go to visit her in a little while. Much love to you today Lynn - and your family near and far xx

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    Replies
    1. It's so hard...sending love to you xxxx

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  4. Beautiful words Lynn - comforting as usual. I face this Mother's Day the first as a motherless child. And I'm surprised how emotional I feel about it. I feel I didn't make enough of mum when I had her. My own child is helping to make it a special day. And we will go to visit her in a little while. Much love to you today Lynn - and your family near and far xx

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    ReplyDelete

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