Today’s letter comes from Me! A letter to my own Mom.
As I write I can hear you clearly as you say you like my blog but add with venom, “Don’t ever put me in it”. I am sorry Mum but as has happened on many occasions before, today I am not listening to you!
However I would like to try to let you know all that you mean to me.
From my earliest days I remember you as the foremost figure in my life. I remember Mike and I sitting on your lap as you told us bed time stories. You took huge delight in our tears as we listened to tragedy befall the main character in the stories, yet every night we asked once more for the story of the little jackal and the fox.
I remember the songs we loved, “Two little orphans”, and the poem “The old brown horse”. How we survived these traumatic tales I don’t know but I do know we could not get enough of them.
Throughout my childhood and teens you were a constant. When I think back there are so many things I remember. Your baking, your bringing me swimming, our chats, but above all I remember the fun. The way you would speak to Dad, and your wicked sense of humour. Our home was a great place to be.
I remember Granny becoming ill, and after she died Granda coming to live with us. I just took it for granted that that is what anyone would do. I didn’t see the bigger picture. You now had to be at home to be with him. You were changing your life to look after him. The house that had been eight people now became nine, not to mention the two children you looked after. I never recall hearing you complain about your lot.
Then life took a very serious turn. A few short years after Granda died Dad became ill. We knew it was serious. I well remember the day you and I went to meet the consultant to be told he had motor neurone disease. There was nothing anyone could do. He would die, a young man.
Mum it is at this point, through tears, that I have to say that you then stepped up to an even higher level. The lessons you taught me over the next two sad years have stood to me for life. I watched as you stood by Dad’s side as he became unsteady on his feet, as he went into a wheelchair, as he needed to be fed. I watched as you cared for him, and once again I never once recall you complaining. In fact all I remember of that time is the humour in the house. Humour many outsiders could not understand. I think it kept us sane and got us through. That humour came from you and Dad.
It is not everyone who can keep someone as ill as Dad was, at home, which is the only place he wanted to be. Luckily for all of us, you took on the role of full time carer, but never ceased to be his wife. We all knew you loved and cared for him deeply, and so did Dad. It was fitting that it was just the two of you together when he died. I know that is what he would have wanted.
In the years after Dad died, we all struggled. I left home for Australia and you wrote to me two to three times a week. I have all those letters still. Your constant contact helped to maintain the bond between us, and in the end I was only too happy to come home to you, my Mum.
You may be unaware that you continue to teach me lessons today. I am now a seasoned mother myself and yet when I look at you I am in awe. Your children are mature adults now, yet all of us keep up close contact with you, on an almost daily basis. Why? Certainly not to check you are okay, as you are more healthy than the lot of us. No, we ring you and call by, because you are wonderful company. You still have a wicked sense of humour and with you life is always fun, not to mention the cooking and baking!
As a child it was often remarked that I was so like you. Growing up that is not always what I wished to hear, but today I would consider it the biggest accolade I could receive. I would be over the moon if I thought for one minute I could be half the mother you have been.
Mum you are an inspiration, a legend, a lady. Through the toughest of days you stood tall. You have a steely determination, which has taught me so much, yet you are also one of the kindest most caring individuals I know.
Mum I love you dearly, and am so very proud anytime I can point you out and say quite simply “That’s my Mum”. You truly are one in a million.
Happy Birthday, Happy Mothers Day, and one last thing Mum….. forgive me for putting you in my blog!
Your often difficult, moody and cranky daughter,