Sorry in advance that this isn’t a baking related post, but blogging has always been one of my outlets and this week has been pretty tough.
Mother’s Day, or more specifically the lead up to the day itself, has been a tricky one for me to cope with for years. I used to be able to simply avoid it by not looking around the shops at this time of year but in the age of internet shopping, my inbox is full each day of subject headings like ‘Find the perfect gift for Mum today!’ and ‘Don’t forget your Mum this Mother’s Day!’.
As if I could forget.
Now, I know it’s blanket marketing and for the majority of the people that open those emails, it won’t cause the pain and upset it does when it catches me off guard. The sharp pang right in my heart that sometimes makes me lose my breath when I see the word ‘Mum’ flash up on my phone.
I can remember the last ever time she called me. She wanted to know what time I finished school and when I was coming home and if I could pick up washing up liquid from the shop at the bottom of the road. It all seemed rather normal. That was her last day on this earth. I would never see ‘Mum calling’ again.
I was only 16 when I lost my mum to cancer. I was a child. Granted, if 16 year old me had heard me calling her a child she would have protested, maintaining she was an adult, capable of making her own choices, her own decisions and her own way in this world. The fact of the matter is, she, or I, wasn’t.
You need your mum for so much in this life and there is never a good time to say goodbye. You need her for as long as you can hold on to her. She is your first teacher and friend. If you’re happy, you call your mum. Sad, you call your mum. Need advice, mum. No matter who else you have in this world to help you through it, they aren’t her, and that’s really bloody hard. Sometimes, her opinion is the only one that really counts.
My mum never saw the woman I have turned out to be. She will never know all of the things I have accomplished. That hurts me every day.
Every award, every accolade, every bit of success, I do it all in her memory.
I visit the crematorium where my mum rests several times a year, Mother’s Day is usually one of those times. It’s also one of the only times I am surrounded by people that know what I’m going through. Other people who are laying flowers for their own mums who left too soon. This year, I will be away and not in the UK, more by accident than by design, the timing just coincided. I will visit her when I return and I know she would understand my need for a holiday after working 24/7.
It may have been 11 years this year, and some days it really seems like I’ve not seen her in that long and even longer, but sometimes, occasionally, it feels like she was just here.
It saddens me that I don’t have as many photos with my mum as people might have nowadays, we didn’t have camera phones when I was growing up and so the only pictures of us were taken on disposable cameras. Sadly, the last photo I took of my mum was on a device that was damaged beyond repair some years ago. She had a face mask on and slices of cucumbers under her eyes. I loved it.
When I was clearing out the old house before I left it I found hundreds of photos of me growing up, but only a select few of my mum and me, and rarely any of my mum on her own.
April 2005, when I tragically lost my mum to cancer, was a simpler time. Before the iPhone, before Facebook and before we lived our lives online.
Sometimes I feel lucky that my mum never had a Facebook page purely so I don’t have to see it. I am, however, jealous of the interaction that social media has brought families, specifically mums and daughters. Don’t get me wrong, I often joke to my friends that if my mum DID have a Facebook page, she would no doubt be the sort of woman to friend request anyone tagged in photos with me, get lured into Facebook scams by constantly sharing status updates pleading with Mark Zuckerberg not to share her information and be partial to a ‘what leaf would you be?’ kind of quiz.
I often wonder if my mum would have had a twitter page, or if she would have turned to internet dating to find someone. I can make a fair assumption however she wouldn’t have been on Tinder. The thought of my mum ‘swiping’ her next date is comical for me to say the least.
I have no doubt I would cringe at every emoji, every humble brag and every comment of ‘look at my beautiful girl!’ underneath any new photo I post. Which makes me so jealous of those who have it.
I would give anything to smile at my mum’s text messages, roll my eyes at her naivety online, laugh at her comments, add her to groups, send her funny memes.
Then again, I would give anything to hear her voice again, to see her one more time. To tell her I love her.
Mother’s Day advertising has seemed particularly heavy to me this year. On television, in shops, on the internet and social media, it’s everywhere. I don’t know if I’m just sensitive to it more due to the fact that the past year has been a pretty amazing one for me and for my business and there are so many awesome things that have happened that I am just desperate to tell her. But since I can’t, I’m writing this post. Thank you to all of my readers for your continued love and support over the years, it really does mean the world to me and I know my mum would be really proud of it all.
Treat your mum like the queen she is, not just this Sunday, but every day.
Happy Mother’s Day.