Our roles in life change many times during our lifetimes.
I have been a child, a friend, a cousin, niece, and a granddaughter. I have been an owner/rescuer of dogs, cats, birds, and one rabbit, one possum. And that was just in the early years.
A teenager, a school leaver, a traveller, an employee and an employer. Then a girlfriend, a wife, a mother and a divorcee, (do we even still use that word)?
I could fill a page. We all could fill a page with our roles in life.
One of my most treasured relationships, besides being a mother to my boys, is the one with my own mum.
We’ve always had a close relationship through the many phases we have walked together.
You have always been my mother, but, sometimes the roles of even a mother can differ in the various phases through our life journey.
Once upon a time when I was a little girl, you were my mother,
Then I grew up, you we’re still my mother but you also became my friend.
That was the perfect period for that time.
Why? Because you could be my mum when I needed you, you could be my friend when I needed a friend, but the one thing, you were always there for me in whatever capacity I needed you to be.
When I had my own kids, you became my mother again, also my adviser.
You were promoted and took on a new role in life and you became a grandmother.
Duties that seemed to be included were babysitter and cleaner.
Whatever role in life I needed you to become you became.
As the years went by, health issues affected you, as you grew older, I grew up. Our roles reversed.
You started to need me, I became your driver, carer when you needed me to be, and I became your ears and your voice.
Oddly I became your mother. Stop bossing me you would often say, my response “it’s only because I care”
Do those words ring true from long ago, another place in time.
When you would scold me when I was young, you would tell me it was only because you cared. I knew this.
See this is where your mothering comes back to haunt you. My learned behaviors.
When I look at you, I see the way you look at me and I know no one in this world loves me more. No one else in this world has my back like you do. No one in this world would fight for me like you would.
I thank you for looking at me the way you do. For loving me the way you do. Thank you for always being there.
Thank you for teaching me to be me and not worry what other people think. Thank you for teaching me to be the strong woman I am. Thank you for teaching me to be independent but it still okay to depend on somebody else.
Then came COVID
When it all started initially I was too scared to see you, too scared I would pass something on to you. I sneezed one day and went into panic and sat out the front of your house chatting to you through the front door. I cried for hours that day. Your words to me were “I’ve got to go somehow and if it means I can cuddle you one more time it’s worth it”. You were always one to put someone or something else before yourself. You always put everything over and above yourself.
We did find our way back to spending time with each other with your medical appointments. It was our excuse. I still needed to be your ears, your voice, your reasoner and your personal assistant.
It was just another role in my life that I have loved because it meant spending time with you.
We still keep our distance, we don’t hug we don’t kiss and we both miss that physical touch. But our hearts will never be empty, they are too full, our hearts know what we mean to each other, our hearts remember what it is for us to cuddle each other, kiss, hold your hand or as I hold your arm gently to guide you to the closest seat.
Whilst I helped you through this phase, you helped me back. I asked you many times to come and live with me. “No I want to be with my friends”, “but mum you are not allowed to see your friends”.
This went on, you always had an excuse until, and finally, you wrote me a letter. Explaining that whilst you appreciate and love me for wanting you to live with me, you don’t want to lose your independence. You don’t want to lose your own flat where all your friends are.
Apparently you don’t want me to cook for you either. Your words “you do all the cooking and you don’t let me cook”. Here I was thinking I was doing something good for you, and then I remembered we have totally different taste in food.
What you did for me though, you became my mother again. You started ringing me “can I come and stay at your place for the weekend”, I have an appointment. That was just an excuse, you knew I needed you and you were there for me again.
As we both continue to grow in this life, I find myself adopting or growing into some of your quirky little habits. That’s fabulous because as a little girl I always said, I wanted to grow up to be just like you! Does that mean I’ve finally grown up?
There is a lot of disharmony due to the Covid virus, there are definitely some things that are good that are coming out of it. Such as our planet resetting itself renewing it self and if we give it a chance it will be a much more beautiful world to live in. But it also gave my mother the opportunity to be my mother again. Thank you
So I’ll leave you with this from me and from all children, no matter how old we are, we always need our mums.
In the tradition of Mother’s Day, I always write my mum a poem. This year I just wrote what I wanted to say right now, at this moment.
Happy Mother’s Day to one of the most inspirational, kindhearted, funny, sweet women I have ever met. I love you infinity.