Yesterday was our first Mother’s Day. It was a day spent in the sunshine, with grandparents and aunties and cousins, and then an evening spent together as a little family, ending with me heading to bed at 7pm so I could have extra cuddles with my darling daughter. McKenna used her excellent taste and picked me out not one, but two bouquets of flowers, a box of chocolates and a beautiful card.
It was the first time in 12 years I made it through a Mother’s Day without feeling sad.
Losing my mother when I was 13 was the hardest thing I have ever been through. I don’t think there are many life events that can compare to the sudden passing of one’s mum. It quite literally gutted me, and it took me a VERY long time to pick up the pieces and put myself back together.
And although the last few years I have been feeling myself starting to REALLY love and love life again (I was angry for a very long time), it has only been in these last 5 months, that I have REALLY felt whole.
Life, as it always does, has come full circle. The many years which I spent with my amazing mother are now fresh on the forefront of my mind almost every day, as I raise my own little person. The lessons she taught in those 13 years are lessons which I want to pass onto my McKenna – to always be kind, that God is always good, education is of the most importance, and you must always eat your vegetables (even though I put up quite a fight on this one). The one thing I remember most clearly about my own Mum is her hugs – she always smelled like home to me, and her hugs were so warm, and made me feel so safe, so protected. Nothing in the world could go wrong as long as I was in her arms.
I hope to emulate at least some of this warmth as I raise McKenna. I hope to teach her the same life lessons, and I hope she knows that I will always keep her safe. I will always be there for her, no matter what.
I am happy to say I wrote this post without crying. And it may have been the first time in a whole 12 years I have been able to discuss my mother for longer than 5 minutes without breaking down. I see now more than ever the reason I was blessed with such an amazing mother, even though she was only humanly present for a fraction of my life. I see now that it was to show me how to be a mother to my own little girl, and how to make her feel loved every minute of every day.
Thank you Mum, for teaching me how to love. McKenna will know you as her Granny, her 27 year-old Granny that had blonde curly hair, stood 5 foot 3 (and a half) and had an adorable English accent and a beautiful singing voice, with hugs that felt like home and a gentle, kind-hearted soul. This is your legacy… and I promise it will not be forgotten.
I have learned that there is no greater gift in life than that of being a mother to your own child. I feel so blessed to have this opportunity, so lucky to have experienced both sides of the equation – as the child who was loved, and the mother with the unrelenting, unconditional love for her child.
I now look forward, with a smile on my face, to all of the Mother’s Days to come.