I am getting older of that there is no doubt. No worry about that, no pretence, but an undeniable fact.
I,of course am a Mum and most days my own Mum comes to mind. She died nine years ago. Maybe I see her favourite colour,sometimes her favourite food. A smell or taste. Sometimes it's the time of year. A special time we shared. Easter is always like this for me. A nostalgic time a time full of memories .
After Christmas she used to like to get the brochures delivered and she would choose a cottage in Cornwall. A place where we could all go for a week at Easter. Cornwall was her very favourite place and as she lived in Devon all her life she never had far to go! We would pack her car with all the treats for the children, always new pants and socks,pretty hair ribbons and chocolate of course.
I think generational relationships can be blessed, wonderful,enriching and precious. You really do only have one Mum. They also can be intense,tricky,frustrating and downright difficult. You really do only have one Mum. A sum of all the parts that make that relationship. My Mum would see instantly if I was tired,upset or anxious. She also shared my joys with matching happiness. My happiness was her joy too. I miss her voice when I have things to celebrate and I miss her embrace when my heart is heavy.
My thirties were the best time for me with my Mum. She was well, she was still young,fit and active. She felt blessed as I had my children. I will never forget the way we looked at each other as I held my first baby in my arms. I had become a Mum too. I felt that overwhelming unselfish love and devotion for this new little life,our son. The same way she had felt about me.
I will never forget when my little baby would not settle on one of his first nights home from hospital. I was so tired and my Mum crept into the bedroom and took him. She sat in the rocking chair within my sight and as I drifted off to sleep I heard her singing lullabies to him as she had to me. I awoke many hours later feeling refreshed and as I looked across she was looking at me sleeping and she was still rocking but my son was asleep in her arms.
That memory still brings tears to my eyes.
Now, of course like all relationships we had "words," we disagreed, we disappointed each other. We had regrets. Sadly she suffered with bad health and unless you are walking in someone's footsteps it is hard to always feel empathy and compassion. I, was still young and had not yet felt the burden of aches and pains,the mantle that advancing years bring. So, I am sure she would have loved that extra time I could have given her, that extra visit to the same garden centre, that extra conversation about her memories. But we tried our best, Mum and I.
And yesterday I had a friends Mum for lunch. She is 93 and absolutely amazing. We had a lovely time. We picked her up and brought her to our home. We cooked her favourite food and we listened carefully to what she had to say. She read every word of the recent article about my blogging adventures. She marvelled at my latest auspicious blanket. She complimented Andy about his latest DIY project. She declared the food scrummy. And then we took her home.
But what makes her so special is, as she came through the door she was carrying a basket and in that basket was a posy of flowers picked from her garden. The stalks were wrapped in tissue and silver foil.
She showed me that she had chosen buds so that they would last. She had picked sweet paes so they would give us sweet scent. And that scent is filling the room this morning as I sit by them writing.
There was a bowl of the sweetest strawberries from her garden. I know the last ripe one will have been added. I bet there is not one for her breakfast this morning.
And there was a bunch of organically grown carrots and one leek. Grown from seed by her and all washed and trimmed.
My Mum used to come with a basket with love tucked inside too!
Gifts of love. Gifts of thoughtfullness. Gifts of kindness. Thank you Thelmum. Thank you for reminding me so much of my Mum. The one Mum I had. But, Thank You most of all for allowing me to still experience the feelings that only such a wonderful woman can give.