Mothers..

I wrote this piece 10 months ago on Mother’s Day and never pressed publish. It was too painful and I felt like a broken record. I’m finally ready to publish it because I’m now in a better place. I want others to know that it’s normal to feel like this. This it is ok to be sad. It’s ok to still miss someone after they’ve died if you’re not ready to move on.

_________________________________________________________________ It’s Mother’s day. I obviously have a love/hate relationship with this day. I love being a Mom myself but I miss my own mother more than words can convey.

It’s almost two years since that day. The last day that we had hope. The day that Rob walked into my room in hospital and told me that you weren’t going to get better. That there was nothing left to do – only wait for your time here to be over.

You were so brave. I felt so bad for crying on the phone to you when I called later that day. You were talking about faith and putting your trust in god. I wanted to scream and tell you that none of it mattered. What was the point in god and faith if he was taking you from us? What god was taking you away from me when I was weeks away from becoming a mother myself. You weren’t going to be there when I needed your help and guidance. I knew nothing about having a baby or raising a child.

I miss you. More than I ever imagined. I miss everything – how soft your hands were. How you laughed. How on a Friday night when we would come to stay for the weekend you would stay up late chatting on the couch with me. How until I moved out at 19 you came into my room every single night without fail to check on me. How you ran out of the kitchen on a Sunday morning when you were in your nightie and Rob came down early. How I painted your nails – it makes me giggle that at the moment you passed away I was holding onto your feet, your bright pink nail polish still on from the very last time I had painted them a couple of weeks before. I spent so much time over the years painting your toe nails. I probably would have picked a different colour had I known that I would never get a chance to do them again. It was shocking pink!

I miss your work ethic. How you worked so hard to make the businesses a success. How you never complained about the hours and how hard it was travelling the country every weekend at trade shows. How your feet ached at the end of the day. How you made our house a home. The dinners, the tea, the packages of food being sent home with us on a Sunday. The Sunday morning fry where we would sit and chat for an hour after. Your energy for looking after your family never ceased to amaze me.  The Christmas morning about five years ago that we ate about 30 mini pan au chocolat and watched Miracle on 34th street and forgot about dinner – a Christmas day will never go by without that memory bringing a tear to me eye.

Your phone has long been cancelled. But I replay the phone number over and over again. I miss being able to dial it and ask for your help and advice. You always knew what to do. Your instinct was always scarily accurate. You just seemed to know when something was up. Even the days that during my pregnancy that things were complicated you seemed to know I was in hospital before I told you. It was weird!

I’ve thought a lot about being a mother – what it takes and what I’ve learnt from you. I used to think at one point that you put too much pressure on me. The endless music lessons, auditions, singing, dance classes, french lessons, art classes, speech and drama… everything. I thought that you were pushing too hard and that I was never good enough at any of these things. Hindsight and experience has now taught me that you enrolled me all of this because you had faith in me. You believed I was probably more talented than I ever really was and I love you for that. Your dedication to trying to make me the best I could be. I’m eternally grateful to you for that love and support and I’m sorry that I didn’t live up to those expectations a lot of the time.

Thank you for everything. Thank you for your guidance, wisdom, knowledge, love and dedication. I’ll miss you forever.

Grief.. An update..

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 4.25.52 p.m.It’s over a year ago since I poured my heart out here about losing my mother to cancer the week after I became a mother for the first time myself. The original post can be found here. At that time I was merely putting one foot in front of the other and I wasn’t in a comfortable place. I couldn’t speak about her without crying, think about her without it taking my breath away or stop feeling envious of those around me that still had their parents.

It’s now been two years and six months since my mother passed away. Life has moved on. I miss her every single day. I think about her all the time. But it no longer consumes me like it did at that time. Putting one foot in front of the other means that slowly but surely you come back to yourself. Don’t get me wrong, life will never be the same again. But I’m more myself again. Losing a parent isn’t easy but it’s the natural course of life. It’s far more unnatural to bury a child. Thankfully I have never had to do that but people close to me have and it’s horrific.  The immense pain and grief that goes along with that is so traumatic and just not what any parent should have to experience. I’m now at a point in my life where I have accepted that burying a parent is part of the course. A hard part but a natural part all the same

I learned a lot from my mother. I watched her as she courageously fought a horrible disease and I seen the grace and dignity in which she dealt with it and her fate. I listened to hundreds of people who attended her wake and funeral and spoke about the lady that she was. The amazing qualities that she held were reiterated by her home care hospice nurse who knew Mammy from a few years back when Mammy helped to take care of a neighbour who was dying. No one asked her to do this but she was a wonderful, caring and giving person who left a lasting impression on people who came into her contact. I cherish these traits, the letters and cards that people wrote to us after her death and the wonderful things that people said. She was a lady. She was kind. She was strong and loving and fussed like a typical Irish mammy to no end. I can now think about these things without
breaking down and remember her fondly.

One of the things I lamented about her passing was not having her around when I had just become a mother. When I felt I needed her advice, reassurance and help the most. I know now that she had spent 28 years imparting everything
I needed to know already. She raised seven daughters and nothing was any problem to her. I’ve had the best role model that
I could have asked for and while I will miss her every day for a long time I will now in future smile when I think of the little things that she did that I now do for my son. She taught me to have compassion and to look after those around you. I will continue to do my best to remember that and hopefully I can pass on the same to Michael .

I guess what I’m trying to say is that when we lose someone that we love we don’t ever really get over it. We just get to a stage of acceptance where we can hopefully love everything about the time that we had with them and let our tears and anger go. There will always be a gap in our lives but because she’s not there I’ve spent more time with my dad and now I love and appreciate him even more for the gentleman that he is. I’ll cherish every minute that I have with him as we know that we don’t know what the future holds. Every day with your health is a blessing. This experience has taught me that. And for that I’m grateful.

If you still have your parents hug them and tell them you’re thankful for everything they have done. The sacrifices that every parent makes for their children aren’t always acknowledged but wouldn’t it be nice to say you did thank them when you still could? Appreciate everything they have done. Listen to their stories. Learn from their advice. You’ll miss is some day.