I have called my Mom the americanised version of Mum for as long as I can remember. I have also named her Martyn Feverfew, Mamushka, Ma and Marty; most of these as I grew out of childhood and entered adulthood. My Mom is an incredibly talented woman who has no idea of the range of her talents. She really should have been an Interior Designer or a upmarket house broker. Her taste, her ability to spot a bricks and mortar bargain are impeccable. As a child I fought what I felt was a conformity I didn’t need but over the years I have found her wisdom and her words have guided me through all of lifes tribulations.
“Location, location, location” has been her mantra and though I was often tempted by aesthetic over place I have never been able to shake off her words. When I moved back to the UK it was Mom who found the house we moved into. It was definitely a doer upper and only Mom and I could see the possibilities. Looking past a mismatch of windows, the lack of any kind of coherent design and frankly some serious issues. I saw what she did, the Clarice Cliff styled stained glass front door, original to the 1930’s house. The stunning and original mosaic hallway flooring. The original fireplaces and the large garden. As with many 1930’s houses it had a small bathroom and kitchen but 2 really spacious reception rooms. With the help of both Mom and Dad the house was bought back to it’s former beauty.
Over the years I have probably given Ma a good few grey hairs and for that I feel real sorrow because she has staunchly stood by my rather bohemian life choices. Now as I am a Mom and a Step Mom any of the frustrations and difficulties we’ve experienced as Mother and Daughter have turned to an understanding that life is not black and white, that the ability to watch as children make their own way through life is not at all easy. The need to protect our children has to become the ability to consult and even when life is chaotic to keep an even keel. I honestly don’t know how she did it because I have sorely tested the boundaries of our relationship! And as she often says “you get the kids you deserve”. It used to frustrate the behemoth out of me as she’d say it. But now it causes me to smile – how right she was. I love all of our children but boy have they put us through our paces!
So Ma, here’s some of the things I think about when I see you in my minds eye
The incredibly soft skin on your face and the fact that you always smell so lovely.
The way you clap your hands and throw your head back in delight when something tickles your fancy.
The enormous dinners that followed me through my childhood; I have followed suite!
The days out at the beach when you’d gather all the neighbouring kids, pack huge thermos flasks, loaves of crusty bread, best butter and strawberry jam. We never went to the arcades or even asked for ice cream. Mom enchanted all of us but also brooked no fuss.
Your no nonsense approach to life that I have failed miserably to emulate – perhaps I’m a late developer.
Actually there are too many things to list. Mom you are the very best and you deserve a medal. Thank you for always being there and always saying the right things at the right time.
In conclusion if there are any readers out there who aren’t or haven’t spoken to their Mom for whatever reason. You will never have another so pick up the phone and make your peace. Celebrate the very person who gave you life or stood in and took someones else’s motherly responsibilities. I can only hope that I can be half the Mom mine is!