For Mother’s day I just wanted to say thank you for everything you have taught me over the years. I wanted to let you know that over the years (yes including those teenage years of tears and tantrums) your little words of wisdom have been engraved in my mind and I’ve carried them with me throughout my life. Each stage of life you’ve taught me something new. When I was little “be tidy”, “look after your skin” and “drink plenty of water” were always your motherly mantras. Whilst i’m still not the tidiest, water and skin care are still part of my daily routine, probably because I still hope in vain that one day I will inherit your youthful beauty.
Whilst I didn’t understand it at the time, and sometimes still struggle to live by it, you have always taught me to nurture my talents and never be afraid of being different. Through times of loneliness you would always remind me that “unless they breathe something other than oxygen, they are the same as you, so never let them make you feel inferior”. Whilst this mantra sometimes fell on deaf ears (especially during those challenging school years) I’ve always remembered those relentless words “it’s like swimming, they can never take it away from you”. You may not know this but it’s these words that have often been an anchor of strength when I’ve been drowning in failure.
One of the most important things you’ve taught me and a lesson that has shaped me into the woman and mother I am today, is how to be a woman in a man’s world. I use to laugh when you’d say make sure you have your “run away money”, but I know now it was your way of telling me that falling in love and being a wife doesn’t mean you can’t retain your own independence. You showed me every day how you can have your own career, be a loving mum and have a long happy marriage with your best friend and soul mate. Whilst I know it wasn’t always easy for you, especially being a working mum in a world which judged you for being one; for being in a mixed marriage and raising mixed raced children in a world full of intolerance and ignorance; and being a carer to a brother who’s disability was unfairly placed on your shoulders by family who were not only distant through land and sea but also love and understanding. Through your own struggles you became a symbol of strength to me.
Over the last few years you’ve taught me how to be a mum. There were the basics like changing a nappy and then there was that first bottle you helped make when we first came home with the boys. Both my babies were screaming for food we had no idea how to prepare (I won’t go into the unconceivable lack of support we were given at the hospital as you were there). When I opened the door to you standing there asking if we were okay, you have no idea how much my heart sank with relief to know you had subconsciously heard my cries for help. You helped me overcome my battle with guilt for not being able to breastfeed my twin boys and reassured me daily of my motherly instincts even though I felt like I was failing. Your hugs during times of hopelessness were my saviour through the first 12 months of motherhood and in case I never said it enough, Thank You!
Thank you mum for all you have taught me and all you continue to teach me.