Updated: Jul 22, 2019
When I think of Mother’s Day, so many images flood my mind. Memories from a long ago childhood – making tea and toast for my mum with my sister Jacki, the excitement of gifts I had bought for her at the local school’s Mother’s Day stall and hidden at the back of my wardrobe, hand-made cards covered in paint and a fuck-tonne of glitter.
In the mid 1970’s, before the age of OHS, lollies and other treats would be stuffed within the confines of a discarded toilet roll, wrapped in brightly coloured cellophane and purchased by excited children for a grand total of ten cents. Let’s not forget the ‘white elephant’ donations from the school community. The vase with the scalloped edge, covered in a haematite-like glaze that sat on my mum’s dresser for many years, before finding refuge on a shelf in her wardrobe. Memories that could never be forgotten, items that could never be discarded.
But no memory is clearer in my mind than my first Mother’s Day as a new mum. May 11th 1997. Darling little Breanna, dressed in her smocked Peter Rabbit dress, a gift from her besotted Aunt & Godmumma, Jacki. My family about to arrive to celebrate the special day.
Moments before they arrive, Bre projectile vomits over the front of her new outfit. Poor darling had terrible reflux. I burst into tears. I had wanted the day to be perfect. My precious mum arrives, wiping the discarded milk from the smocking she reassures me that everything will be ok. That this is just a part of motherhood. Little did I realise at the time but this would be the last Mother’s Day that I would share with my mum. Sixty five days later she would die.
And here I now sit writing, almost twenty-two years later, on the cusp of another yet Mother’s Day without my beloved mum. Does it get any easier? No. But now I find myself sharing this previously solitary experience with a multitude of friends who have also lost their adored mothers. We are members of an exclusive club that none of us wish to belong to.
Mother’s Day has now become a double-edged sword by where we share the joy and adoration of our own children as they bestow upon us their excitedly-wrapped gifts, their heart-felt cards. But despite the magic and love of the day, our hearts still yearn for own mothers, our hearts still break with our own loss, our own sadness.
Deep inside we know that our mum’s are still with us, watching over us, but it’s not quite the same. What I wouldn’t give for one more day with my mum, one more hug, one more cup of tea and a long chat, one more time watching the excitement on her face as she opened my gift. I was truly blessed to have the most amazing mum and I hope I have channelled just a pinch of her mothering magic. But you would have to ask my girls about that.
Amidst the joy that this Mother’s Day will undoubtedly hold, surrounded by my two precious daughters, I want to take a moment to send my love to all the women out there who are celebrating Mother’s Day without their mums. Know that you are not alone. Know that your beautiful memories will help you get through the day. Know that your mums are watching over you, in awe of the beautiful mothers you yourself have become. They would be proud of us all. This mothering gig is hard. But we wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I also wish to send my love to my friends who are mothers without children. I can’t imagine the pain that Mother’s Day brings to you. No words can make up for your loss. But know that I am holding you in my heart, in love and light on this day.
So Happy Mother’s Day to us all. Motherhood is such a blessed gift. I will be thinking of you all on Sunday.