Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!!

It's nice to scroll through your Facebook timeline on a day like today and see the smiling faces of Mother's the world over as they receive their flowers and presents from their grateful kids. There is also a little blow to the belly for those whose Mother's were taken altogether too soon, which is where myself and my sister find ourselves. In those moments it's easy to feel a little bit of anger and jealousy for all of those other kids, but i quickly realize that's not fair.

My sisters and I had a childhood that could best be described as ordinary, but it was made all the more memorable by a Mother who was extraordinary. Yes, there was the occasional, albeit deserved, smack across the arse with a slipper that had a sole seemingly made of iron. There were also moments of sheer embarrassment when, with all the windows wide open, Mum would clean the house and belt out tunes in accompaniment to her "Singalong-a-Max" tape by Max Bygraves. To say that she was a horrible singer was understating the fact, but you had to give her credit for trying. Yes, there were those times, but for the most part there was laughter.

She was perhaps the world's greatest unconscious comedian, letting slip a string of faux pas that would leave us all on the ground in stitches. This list could go on forever, but some of the best were:
  • Taking about an arrest made on here street and describing how the police took the criminal away in cufflinks
  • Talking about the twins that a woman at her work had, and when asked if they were identical, responding, No, they are Filipino
  • Telling me and my girlfriend at the time that she was taking us to see the movie "Breakdown" and that she was arguments. I then tell her to make sure she doesn't ask for tickets to "Breakdance," to which she replies, "I'm not bloody stupid, John."...30 seconds later..."3 adults for Breakdance please."
  • Deciding that going down a slide flat on her back would be a good idea, only to go flying off the end and cracking her head at the sounds horrible, but you really had to be there. That, incidentally, was a Mother's Day trip that myself and my sisters took her on. 
  • Getting blootered drunk and hopping around in the backyard singing "Skippy The Bush Kangaroo" 
There are many more, to the point where we all started to believe that they were intentional. It would have made perfect sense, as she was a woman that loved to laugh and who loved and lived life to the fullest.  And that laugh of her's was one that was infectious, especially when the baby seal barking kicked in and the false teeth started rattling.

My Mum was a lot of things to a lot of different people, and they all loved her because she made them all feel loved. The mere mention of a baby being born meant that the knitting needles would go into high speed as she designed a whole new wardrobe for said little one. That she stayed around long enough to put those knitting needles to use for her grandkids was just one more thing we could all be happy about.

So, yes, there is a little bit of anger and jealousy today, as there is every year at this time. But more than anything else, there are incredible memories that, when you close your eyes and think about them, make you feel as though she is sitting right beside you. I am not a man of faith, but I know she is with me every day, and that she guides me in every decision I make, because it was she, more than anyone else, that made me into the man I am today. My sisters will tell you the same thing if you asked them. How the influence our Mum had on them shaped them into the amazing women that they both are....they both have the strong, proud exterior, but they have the same hearts, cast from the same carat of gold that was present in our mum's.

So to all of you who have Mother's still with you today, or who are Mother;s, I say...Happy Mother's Day. To my own mum i say....I miss you every day, but you are always in my heart.


Anonymous said...

Well written and said John. I can still remember how your mum comforted me when I lost my mum. She was a very lovely caring and loving person. Sadly missed but always remembered!! xx

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