Saturday, 29 March 2014

Mothering Sunday

When the Vicar marvelled over a recipe for 'Penis Stew' in a Two Fat Ladies' cookbook, my mother roamed the Home Counties in search of an abattoir that would supply a bull's glory to expand his culinary repertoire.

When intuition told her that I was ill was during a phone call from university, she got in the car at 5am and drove 120 miles to nurse me.

When my newborns wore me down at night, a dressing-gowned figure would emerge from the guest room and bear them away till dawn.

When I admired a garment or a garden plant it would turn up inside my luggage when I reached home.

When the children grew, the bottom drawers in two chests were cleared to become treasure stores and were filled with novelties when they visited.

When, the day after her accident, I was clearing the Christmas presents she'd begun buying, I found she'd remembered the rose hand cream I'd once raved over and predicted the 11 year-old's craving for a jewellery casket.

Everything she did for us was a tribute; everything we did for her she deemed a favour to be acknowledged with notes of blissful gratitude.

Now it is we who look after her - wheeling her in her chair as she once pushed us, cutting her food, cleaning her teeth and calming her terrors. It's painful to see the family pillar so dependent. But it's a privilege to have the chance to repay her.

This Mothering Sunday is a poignant one.  We so nearly lost our mother. The woman who survived is more child than matriarch, but even through her anguish she exudes still that wondering gratitude for her family. And as I adjust to mothering her, I appreciate more fully the years she has toiled for us.

When parents go, there's no buffer generation between us and eternity. I once took her devotion for granted; now it's the only thing to have survived that November night intact and I'm conscious that, for most of us, every day that we still have our mothers is a blessing.

Happy Mothering Sunday.







18 comments:

  1. How sweet and how sad, but even given your Mother's condition you're lucky to have her. My Mother is dead, yet lives in my thoughts and my heart.

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    1. I am indeed lucky. And I am sorry for your loss. But we are both fortunate to have mothers deserving of such mourning and remembrance.

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  2. Oh Anna this is lovely and heartfelt, and emotional for its sincerity. I'm sorry this has happened to you and to her, but it is so like you to find something new and positive to focus on x

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  3. She sounds like a wonderful mother and you are lucky to have each other. I'm sorry to hear that she is in such ill health now, but continue to cherish every moment you have together.

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  4. Such a lovely post! Happy Mothering Sunday to you both!

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  5. My mother passed away years ago after a year long illness and a doctor stating she only had a year to live. Enjoy the time with your mom Anna, it is precious.

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    1. I'm glad she outlived the prognosis and gave you that extra time but, all the same, it must be so hard still without her.

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  6. Oh you with your beautiful words! Crying now. You've summed up the exact way I feel about own mum. I'm pleased your mum is still with us and you're able to continue appreciating her. My own mum lost her mum (my grandma) a couple of weeks ago and I know that, even at aged 60, the love for one's mother never wanes. xxx

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    1. You wrote such a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. I had it in mind when I was trying to do justice to my Mother here.

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  7. Beautiful words and beautiful sentiments. Your family is truly blessed to have each other. xxx

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    1. Thank you. It's certainly good for us to be reminded of blessings, however painfully.

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  8. Beautiful. So glad you still have your Mum after that horrific accident last year. X

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  9. It's wonderful to see you honour your mum like this - and she has so certainly passed on her gentleness and kind ways to you X

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