Do I miss my Mum? Oh good grief, I don’t think I could put into words how much I miss her. She was stolen from me at the young age of 59 (when I was going through divorce and my eldest H’Boo,was just 3 years old – she is now 12!). I never had long enough to tell her how she was the inspiration in my life and how I’d be ecstatically happy to be half the woman she was. Not long enough to tell her that now I was a Mother, I could appreciate her more and that it would allow us to have a greater understanding of each other – not nearly long enough!
She has never met HonieDaddy or looked into the eyes of my youngest K’Boo, now 4.
Today I was visiting my Dad’s house and he had been going through photographs. Like me HoniePops was always snapping with a camera and he used to sometimes develop his own material. There are hundreds of photographs (possibly thousands) here and there. I had taken a lot away from him, promising to document them and make copies if anyone wanted to keep them for themselves … such an archive should not be lost into the dusty drawers of someones forgotten hiding place, never to tell the story it mirrored.
My Dad had found yet another box of photos and so I sat on the floor of the front room of his house and allowed the memories to come pouring in ….
I watched as he looked at photos of my Mother’s smiling face (always smiling the biggest smile you could imagine) and how he was clearly so desperately in love with her. Photos of holidays they had together and images of when they first met – she was stunning in a simple way (photogenic and yet so very natural). Her skin was better than mine is now when she was in her 50’s – I kid you not!)
It was hard to find a picture when she was not smiling, except for the few when they first met and she was looking just plain beautiful concentrating on something. Then I found a couple when she knew she was ill – the smile erased from her face!
As we were looking, K’Boo was dancing about the room and singing to herself and then she came and sat down beside me.
“This is Nana” she said “She was your Mummy …… she died!”
She said it so matter of fact and then started to mumble to herself as she traced the pictures with her fingers. She was muttering words to herself and occasionally out loud about my Mum. I could see my Dad trying to ignore it as he didn’t want to try and explain. I know that K’Boo was aware of who she was, as my Dad had explained who it was in a few pictures she had seen before. When she asked I’d say that it was her Nana – my Mum! She also recognised me from pictures when I was younger.
When we were at home this evening and HonieDaddy was home I mentioned we had been to see my Dad earlier.
“Mummy ….. Do you miss your Mum” she said.
I gasped for a moment and then replied “Yes, of course I do”
I could see HonieDaddy trying to think of ways to change the subject quickly, but she continued …
“She wasn’t very well …. so she died”
“That’s right” I said. “She was very poorly”
“Did it make you very sad”
“Yes, very sad and I miss her very much”
She moved everything from around me and got as close as she could and just hugged me for a while. One thing I know is that my children know they can be honest in what they discuss with me and that I will always tell them the truth. Another thing is that they are very responsive to feelings and thoughts of family always trigger strong and meaningful ones.
She went away and drew some pictures, muttering to herself and then brought one to me
“She’s very happy and you are happy Mummy”
She then had me write the names next to the pictures she had drawn and went away to draw another.
The picture was lady with long hair, lying down with her arms as a cross shape.
I often say that the ones we love, when they have left us, live on in those who are left behind – we often see characteristics of a family member in our children, even if they didn’t know them long enough or understand much about them. Somehow those characteristics and mannerisms live on.
K’Boo has never met my Mum, but there are so many things I can say remind me of her and she was certainly one for being direct with her feelings.
Yes, I miss my Mum – but my children are her to remind me of her every day
Pamela Fitzgerald nee Gennis 02/08/1943 – 07/08/2002