Inspiration for blog posts comes in all forms. Seeing a photo; overhearing a conversation; watching the news. Endless possibilities. Yesterday, I posted a very personal photo on WitWitWoo and was so touched by everyone’s comments on my Silent Sunday photo, I felt the need to write a blog post about it today.
I know we’re not meant to use any words but I’m feeling rebellious. So there.
Yesterday was bittersweet. For those of us whose mothers are no longer with us, Mother’s Day is a bit of a kick in the bollocks. As eloquent as ever, I know, but it kinda sums it up. I am blessed to have my own children, which is how I can always manage to get through that day without resorting to just sitting in a corner, rocking back and forth. They bring me more joy than I could have ever imagined. But I still miss my mum.
It’s been nearly six years now and, for the most part, I’m OK. There are times when I’ll see a woman out with her daughter and a pang of jealousy sears through my heart so vehemently and so unexpectedly I don’t realise I’m holding my breath until I get lightheaded … and then I exhale.
Now, I didn’t dare risk provoking Mocha Beanie Mummy’s wrath yesterday (this girl has got Silent Sunday roolz!) by explaining what my photo was about, but there were a few people I explained it to. For everyone who thought it was a beautiful photo representing spring, you’re right. It is. But it’s also where my mum’s and nan’s ashes were scattered.
The horse chestnut tree the ashes are under grows on a piece of land that my Dad owns. It’s somewhere we can visit whenever the mood takes us. It’s not depressing like the cemetery can often be – it’s private, beautiful and, more importantly, we have history there. As children growing up, my brother and I were lucky to have all this land to play on. As a family, we would have sports days there where we’d play rounders with our friends and mum would provide us with a constant stream of sausages and burgers and never ending lemonade. It’s full of such good memories – it’s the perfect place for her to be laid to rest.
After Mum died, those closest to her went down to the land and we each took it in turns to scatter her ashes under the tree. Myself, Dad, my brother, her brothers and sisters … we were all there. It was a sad, sad day, yes … but it wasn’t depressing. My nan’s ashes had been scattered there years before and so now my Mum was reunited with her Mum. It felt comforting somehow.
I’m no stat whore as far as my blog is concerned. I’m really not. There was this one time (in band camp) last week, where I didn’t check my figures for a whole hour! I kid, I kid! Interestingly though, yesterday’s photo must have really connected with people as I had the most hits to my site I’ve had since WitWitWoo was born eight months ago. I think once people understood the picture, the daffodils took on a whole new meaning. The ground they grew from was richer, more fertile. Mum was a keen gardener and when I look at that photo I like to think she’s looking after the flowers from underneath – Dad looks after them from above.
I try not to look for pity as a rule in life, particularly when it comes to talking about having lost a parent so prematurely, but on Mother’s Day, I think it’s fair to say I was a little ‘sensitive.’ My Other Half, bless him, is used to the mixed emotions this day brings and has learnt that he doesn’t have to say anything anymore. He can’t ‘fix’ how I feel – it just ‘is.’ Sometimes, a cuddle is all I need.
It’s not often I talk about Mum. Life goes on and I know I’m not the only one not to have her Mum around anymore. There are times though when a photo just doesn’t say enough and I need to say how I feel in words, even if no-one is listening, and even if they are typed words on a blog.
My Mum was the most beautiful woman you could ever hope to meet – inside and out. I know I’m biased, and believe me, she wasn’t perfect, but she really was special. She was the sort of woman who lit up a room as she walked into it. A subtle strength.
What saddens me most is that she adored her grandchildren so utterly yet my youngest won’t even remember her. I found out recently that she told her best friend towards the end that she felt too ill to carry my son, who was one at the time, and that it broke her heart she couldn’t cuddle him anymore. I didn’t know this at the time because it was typical of her not to tell people she was in pain – she’d just cope as best as she could in silence. That always infuriated me about her!
Dad takes a lot of pride in making sure the flowers under the horse chestnut tree are watered and looked after. There’s a wire fence that’s hardly visible in the photo that runs around the edge to keep the rabbits out as they have a tendency to nibble on the pansies!
He doesn’t visit the cemetery but does his remembering at the land, by the tree, tending to her flowers.