Mum died eight days before Mother’s Day 2018. Today is my third Mother’s Day without her. I know there are people who have lost their mums and view Mother’s Day with apprehension or dread. For me, it’s turned into a day that just happens. I’m no more or less sad today, it’s another day that I don’t have my Mum.
Of course I always think of her on Mother’s Day, and I think about the fond memories we’ve shared. We must have gone for an all-you-can-eat carvery lunch (she fucking loved a carvery) every year for five years in a row. Because that’s what she wanted to do and that’s what she got. Even when she was going through chemo, she wanted to sit in the pub with her shiny bald head on Mother’s Day and have her carvery. That year she didn’t have much of an appetite due to the chemo, and the pub we went to had a “one plate only” policy on busy days. I desperately wanted some cauliflower cheese but there wasn’t any ready when I got my lunch, so Mum waited an extra few minutes after me and got me some cauliflower cheese on her plate. What a diamond.
I think about the cards I’d written her and the gifts I’d bought her, always met with tears at how meaningful my words were and how thoughtful the gifts were (Well…I am the favourite child). I couldn’t imagine not giving her something meaningful and thoughtful – she’d spent 23 years of her life being my Mum. The selfless, unconditional dedication that only a mother can epitomise.
On Mother’s Day 2019, Sam and I went to Highcliffe beach in Dorset. There’s a holiday/caravan park placed precariously close to the cliff edge, and in that holiday park was where we spent many summer holidays as a family. I decided to go there to scatter my portion* of Mum’s ashes. As I stood there watching Mum’s ashes gracefully drift away with the waves, I thought of all the times we’d been on that very beach together all those years ago, and all the places the waves could take her. That moment was filled with such happy memories as well as undeniable heartbreak. It was overwhelming so obviously I cried, but it soon felt a great relief.
I went back there a couple of days ago, as I had been feeling really down about the self-isolation situation. I put on the playlist I have that reminds me of my Mum, I walked up and down the promenade for about 2 miles, and I let all of that anguish and uncertainty out. I cried like a B I T C H. Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance with Somebody is one of the songs that reminds me of Mum – as I’m sure it does for many people. As it blasted through my headphones, I couldn’t help but smile, and dance, and strut myself all the way down that promenade. There was no one else around me, possibly some people on the cliff top – I bet if they could see me they’d be thinking ooh shit she got some moves! Probably what Mum was thinking as well.
*Like she’s a sauce sachet? soz Susan xoxo