Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day, and yesterday- for the first time I can remember- I read an article about what Mother’s Day is like, without a mum. Such a rare publication on a weekend like this. There was a line in the piece:

“as I continue to grow into the happy, fulfilled, ambitious and – I hope – kind person my mum always knew I would become, as she herself was, I feel the raw cruelty that she is not here to enjoy it sits with me, inside me, everyday.
It resonates. It resonates because it made me consider everything my mum has missed, and everything we have missed of her. So, in “celebration” of this day- a day that my mum did NOT celebrate (I’m sure you loved the hand crafted cards really, Mum!)-here’s my reflection. Yeah, it’s kind of self indulgent, but it’s my blog and I don’t care.
However, if you too are being bombarded with bullshit advertising about “show Mum you care” (ummm…do it everyday people, you don’t have to wait for a Sunday in March) and a newsfeed stream of overt declarations, maybe you’ll find some comfort in this.
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For all the people who have to endure this day without your mum and for those who lost their mums far too young- I feel for you. It’s shit.

Mum,

I miss you. I can’t even tell you how many times I have reached an obstacle or a hurdle in my life, and wanted to pick the phone up and ask for your help. The number of times I have wanted to celebrate or commiserate something with you is too many to count. There is a moment-a fleeting second-where I forget that it’s not possible. Then there is the horrible feeling, when the fleeting second passes, and my heart sinks, knowing I can never share anything with you again. In eight years, so much has happened and this feeling doesn’t diminish: weddings, emigrating, buying houses (decorating houses!), jobs, travelling, crises and jubilations. I know it breaks both of our hearts that we haven’t been able to share it.

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I often wonder whether we would have ended up being friends as adults, once I surpassed all my teenage angst (okay- I never fully surpassed it, I still act like the brat that delayed the school run by weaving intricate braids into my hair every morning). We never knew each other as adults. I thought I was an adult, because such difficult things had been thrust upon us at a young age, but on reflection, I wasn’t. I was a teenage kid who just had to deal with a lot of shit. And, in turn, I thought you were an adult which, of course you were. However, as I edge closer to the age you were when you left us, and I realise that I could be over half way through, that sense of “but I’m nowhere near done” dawns on me. This must have been how you felt: too young to go. I’m sorry I never acknowledged this. You were too young. I just never comprehended how young. Now I understand why so many people commented on your dignity.

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So would we have ended up as friends? We never knew each other as adults. When I go shopping and see women lunching with their mothers, I think “would we have done that?”. Would we have got to a place where we could shop without you screwing your face up at the clothes I choose? Or grabbing a glass of wine and talking about life? I guess we’ll never know, Mum but I like to think that our similarities would eventually have converged (rather than causing so many battles).

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You always used to say that I allowed myself to be used by others. That I was too trusting of people. That I liked the wrong people. I still hear your words. I acknowledge them. I still fail to act upon them, and I always feel you’d give me “the face” for that. I guess the difference now is, your words have stayed with me. I acknowledge them, rather than screaming with hot tears and denying it. Very few of my friends now, knew you. Which is sad. (but there have been drunken nights at bars where I have talked about you!) I am sure you would judge them- that’s what Mums do- but know that I heard you, and I’m wary of it. You knew me. You knew me better than I knew myself. Perhaps that is mother’s intuition, or perhaps that was just your skill. I don’t know. But those words resonate.

I can’t write anymore, because I am bordering (or over the border) of self indulgent. And, as the t-shirt you bought me from Topshop when I was 12 or 13 proclaimed: I am a drama queen.

Mum, I love you forever. I miss you forever. And forever is a long time.

x

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