This time next week will be Mother’s Day here in the UK. It’s the day when we show our Mums just how much we love them and appreciate what they have done for us by buying them gifts, taking them out to a nice meal or just giving her a ‘day off’ so she can enjoy some relaxing time on her own. (I’m sure there are plenty of Mums out there who would put this top of their wish list!)
I must confess however, to having mixed feelings about the idea of a Mother’s ‘day’. Of course, I absolutely believe that mothers should be celebtrated for what they do in bringing up their children and certainly they more than deserve the gifts and treats they receive. A woman sacrifices a huge amount to bring up her family, but I just think that they deserve to be celebtated all year round: visited or taken out beause you want to spend time with her; given a nice gift because you saw it and you instantly thought of her; telephoned because… well, just because. The idea that you might only be doing it because someone at some time attached an arbitrary day to it so you feel that you should, just seems a little sad to me. The same goes of course for Father’s and Valentine’s Days.
This year those feelings are even more prevalent as I cast my mind back to a year ago when we all got together as a family to celebrate Mother’s Day with my Mum who had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. She had undergone two surgeries in the proceeding two months, and was about to embark on courses of chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy. It was a bittersweet day. We were thakfull that the cancer had been spotted early on and that the surgery had appeared successful, but nervous about what was to come and the final prognosis. Mum was still recovering from surgery and well short of her normal self, but put on brave face and battled through. Tears were close but kept at bay. We spoke of happy things and tried to banish those feelings of foreboding. My parents have lead a full, happy and healthy life, and have always acted and looked a good 10 years youger than their age. I always thought them indestructable and had never stopped to imagine one of them no longer being there. The thought of it was unbearable. I started to think of friends who had lost a parent, how hard it must be and how days like Mother’s and Father’s Day must be very painful reminders of what they no longer have.
I am very happy to say that now, a year later, Mum’s treatment is over and she has been given the all clear. She is pretty much back to the person she was before all this started and I am beyond thankfull. Unfortunately we live about 300 miles apart, but speak regularly on the phone and try to visit each other regularly. I won’t be able to spend next weekend with her and I do feel sad about that, but know she will spend time with my sister and nieces and will be well looked after. Of course I want to celebrate the fact that she is still with us, but then I want to celebrate that every other day too. I will of course make the most of every opportunity to spend time with my Mum, to go shopping with her, enjoy a lovely afternoon tea or a G&T on a sunny evening, share some gossip or just sit and watch TV together, as I always have. I don’t need one particular day in the year to do that and to let her know how important she is to me, and I’m absolutely sure she feels the same way.
To all the mothers out there, past and present, with love, everyday x