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5 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Mum
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My mum died many years ago now when my youngest child was around 12 years old. He is now 22 and somehow even with our move to the city, being immersed in a new job, kids growing up and graduating from school and university, weddings and the arrival of much loved grandchildren, it just doesn't seem that long ago.
Some days I've wanted to talk to mum and tell her about my day, and ask her about hers, and talk about the things of importance in the family and things that are not so important.
I've wanted to tell her about her sweet great grandchildren and all the funny little things they get up to and who they are like, and throw around ideas with her of who they will grow up to be. I've wanted to ask her to show me how to bake her meat pies and mouth watering plum tarts as only she could; how to preserve fruit and bake a sponge cake that won't sink in the middle; how to crochet so I can make my daughter a baby blanket for her baby girl.
And I've wanted to ask her how she did it!! How did she take care of us all and wash clothes by hand, and chop wood for the fire, and keep chickens, and darn all our socks and keep the veggie patch tended so well; and do dishes before dishwashers were built into every kitchen and when cleaning meant scrubbing and waxing and polishing, even floors.
How did you do it mum??
And some days I've wanted to touch the soft creases of her face and stroke the silvery grey of her hair and sit and have a cup of tea together and to tell her how much I love her and long for her to come back.
But I'm not as sad any more and I was relieved when she died. She'd suffered enough pain and didn't deserve to go through it any more. Then, I was sad and her passing left a wide gaping hole where my heart used to be. Now, the hole has closed and occasionally the memories wash over me again and my chest clenches tight and I feel the sad pull again.
And it is times such as these that I sit in the stillness and silence of faded memories and I know I should have said - wished I'd said - wanted to say,
Mum I want to tell you;
1 I am thankful for your warm compassionate understanding heart. Mum you parented in a difficult era. A time when kids were 'seen and not heard' where we didn't, couldn't, weren't allowed to express our emotions publicly and boys didn't cry and needed to be tough. But somehow in your own quite way you were sympathetic and compassionate if one of us kids were upset. We could see it in your eyes. If we were hurt at school we just knew that you would understand, would take our side. It wasn't what you said and I didn't tell you how I felt but your calm quiet presence was reassuring. Coming home to you was safe.
2 I am so grateful that you always appeared calm even when annoyed or frustrated with me. You never yelled at me and I can't ever remember a time when you smacked me. I do remember times when a long thin stick would appear from behind the closet when I was trying to test your patience, but it never once swatted me. Just lurked in the background in its own menacing way and did the job it was intended to do.
3 I so appreciate that you worked hard for us and we kids always had home cooked meals on the table; fresh fruit and vegies from your well tended garden to enjoy year round; clean ironed clothes to wear; books to read; a warm house when the weather turned cold and fans in every room to try and help with the heat of summer. And that you loved your garden and grew some of the most beautiful roses I have ever seen.
4 That you had a strong faith and would spend time encouraging us to see God everywhere, In a smile or the gentle touch of a hand; in a small gift of thanks; in a vase of sweet smelling flowers; in the wonder of a full moon and the blue of the sky. And mostly in your philosophy in life that put your family first in everything you did with strength and courage and kindness.
5 That you were a great cook and loved cooking for your family. Your influence gave me my love an appreciation for uncomplicated, healthy fresh food, the courage to create new recipes, and the initiative to cook without one.
My mum has long been gone and there are still many moments in my life when I would love her around; love to sit and chat over tea with her; love her to teach me the things again that I didn't learn too well the first time.
Life goes on and new mum's everywhere are loving and nurturing and teaching their families just like my mum did.
If your mum is still with you, don't wait to tell her how much you love and appreciate her. Today is the best day to love her, now, appreciate her, now, and enjoy her every minute.
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