Mother’s Day

10/03/2013

I have no idea where the invention of mother’s day came from, but I like it. One thing is for sure it has become a commodity, as a child I don’t remember there being endless window displays or commercials to remind us of mother’s day. It was simple cards and gifts made in school, being taken home on Friday afternoon with the glue still wet and sticky; daffodils from the garden and burnt toast on Sunday morning. One year my brother and I decided to do the breakfast in bed without any adult supervision, it was when flames came out of the toaster, that my brother decided dads help was needed; it is the thought that counts. The soggy cereal offering was a safer bet from then on in.

I am a mother now, and this year was woken by the sound of my youngest son talking loudly, in his running commentary obsession whilst playing Minecraft. I don’t do mornings very well and simply asked if he could wear his headphones to which I was greeted with a barrage of abuse that they didn’t work. I shut the door, made a cup of tea and read the Saturday Guardian that I had barely started yesterday, and enjoyed the relative peace.

Husband baked a cake yesterday, a very rich chocolate cake, which smelt delicious as it was cooking in the oven; it is in the tin waiting its grand unveiling, and I honestly haven’t looked or picked a bit off from the edge.

When my Gran was alive, there were a few Mother’s Day lunches that I cooked for us all, the boys would write a menu and we would lay the table in all our mismatched crockery and chairs with Grans tablecloth. I baked a Victoria Sandwich one year for tea and it caught round the edges, despite my best efforts at slicing off the very well done bits it still had a burnt taste to it, even though my Gran insisted it didn’t.

In the last few years since gran died, and watching my mum grieve, you are never too old to miss your mum.

Mother’s Day for me is about celebrating, when you have children you become known as x & x;s mum, your former identity no longer defines you. You become even more skilled in multi-tasking, love expands into your children in a way that you cannot be prepared for. You become a fierce tigress, protecting your cubs.

My mum has always loved me, cared about me, supported me and survived the teenage years with me. I know that I am blessed; I know that not every child is given love or cared about, and some children are damaged, harmed and hurt in ways that we would rather not think about. Who is to know what damage the mums of these children have experienced?

If you are lucky to have a mum who loves you, no matter what, accept that they are human, they may make mistakes, we all do; but don’t let petty arguments and the day-day niggles of life overshadow the big stuff. Spare a thought for those who have not been blessed with the love that you have, I know I will and I know I will tell my mum how much I love her.

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Dearest Stef

It was really good to talk to you on Saturday, as I said I have been concerned about you lately. I am writing because I have been thinking about you, and I guess for my own cathartic needs, I want to tell you how important you are to me. I am priviliged to be part of your family and likewise feel blessed that you are part of my family. As you know I don’t give and trust to a wide circle of people, it is only those for whom I truly love and care most deeply about.

It is often said that true friendships are only counted on one hand, I count my blessings dearly, for those who hold my hand are valued and loved for all that they are. It is the food of life which carries, sustains, protects and cherishes us; these hands are for holding too, to hold each other through our paths and journies.

You recently told me that I should lean on you, well I am telling you that it goes two ways, allow yourself to do the same and feel what is given to you; trust those who give to you and know that they return what you have given to them.

I know there are dark places that you travel and I accept what you say in that you battle with connection in the here and now, I also accept that you have the right to decide about completeing suicide….for the record I don’t agree that it is the only solution….BUT it is also your right to know that you have someone to talk to in these times, I offer you ears which will listen freely and openly to you; especially when your plan feels like it is the only answer. You will always have my love and friendship, you are unique and I love you most dearly. Bev x

Stef finally carried out his plan and died on the 16 May 2011, six months after I wrote this letter to him. He touched many hearts, his mum was given a standing ovation after she delivered her eulogy at his funeral. His passing has left a Stef shaped hole that cannot be filled, this is shared for all of you who have been affected by suicide and the deep sadness it leaves. With love to those who are finding a way through the heartbreak xXx

Beginnings

06/01/2013

Mum is not so dumb

As it goes I am clever, having just got my 2:1 in Social Sciences with Social Policy proves the point.

Now that I have free time again and for the time being have no more essays or deadlines to meet, what better way than to actually start my blog. The plan is to start by committing to a fortnightly posting, it may feature anything I choose to write about; 2013 is the year of my blog…mum is not so dumb.

The title is a little tongue in cheek, taken from Second World War advertising campaigns. Dumb is a word that may not be used as much as it once was, it isn’t a great word, and dumb doesn’t bring positive thoughts or images into your head. For much of my life I have considered myself dumb, never having dared to believe I may be clever. Those days are gone; I will never again doubt my abilities, skills or knowledge, I have come too far and achieved too much to ever allow such negative thoughts to try and creep back in.

Since I was officially awarded my degree by the OU in December I have been on cloud 9, I am elated, proud, jubilant, the cat that got the cream. I started my degree in 2003, it has taken me 9 years to complete, determination to finish got me through the hard times, doing my degree was symbolic to my recovery and certainly provided an interesting journey getting through it. I have worked hard, I kept plodding away and all the small steps have become my journey, the highs and lows as well as the fails and the re-sit of my last TMA. I  did it, whilst also bringing up my babies, staying married….at times, just, working and battling to get my youngest son diagnosed with Aspergers; moving house, loosing my Gran, Stef and Aunties, much has happened over the last 9 years whilst studying for this degree. Most importantly it has given me a huge sense of achievement, a massive confidence boost and belief in my self, for now I am relishing in being officially clever…..mum is not so dumb 😉