Most of my friends never really met or knew my mother. And it occurs to me that by the time I’m 50 I would have lived longer on this earth without my mum being here than the years I lived until she passed. Most people have that privilege for a bit longer, of which I am envious.
So, knowing what my memory is like now, I wanted to leave an honest description of my mum. Not that anyone could forget her but the mind is a frail thing. And maybe it will give you a better understanding of what makes me and my other siblings the way we are.
My mum and dad complimented and contrasted each other so much. My mum was the discipliner, the loud one, you did not want to get her angry. My dad on the other hand was gentle, quiet, even tempered, more laid back. It took a lot to make him angry. Even when my mum threw a TV at him I still don’t think he got that mad. The TV was not harmed in the proceeds, it still worked fine.
My mum had a temper which you did not want to ignite. She was one of the tiniest women I know but none of us, even when we were grown up and two to three feet taller than her, dared to make her angry. If we did we always made sure it was a clear run for the exit. In fairness she did only get that angry about serious things and she got so angry because she loved so much.
I need to thank my eldest sister because she was a good few years older all the younger siblings learned from most of her mistakes. So thanks June! By the time we got older we knew what to do to make sure we weren’t on the other side of my mums discipline. There were obviously some lapses at times.
Certain things annoyed her so much; laziness, being too laid back, disrespect and being lied to. She had such a nack of knowing when people were being dishonest. She was always a fair judge of character. If she didn’t like you, there was a good reason for it. She was very accepting otherwise.
I wound her up quite a lot because I am quite laid back. And it annoyed her so much sometimes. I think that was possibly sometimes the reason for some arguments between my parents. My dad being fairly easy going to. Everyone says I am really like my dad.
If you ever lost my mums trust it would be hard to get it back. The problem my mum had was that she was always honest, she spoke her mind and nothing restrained her tongue. And she cursed and swore like you wouldn’t believe! You knew where you stood with my mum. You wouldn’t have to worry about her speaking behind your back because she would gladly tell you the same thing to your face the next time she saw you, if she hadn’t already done so.
My mum was strong willed, to an extent stubborn, and done what she wanted. Now that wasn’t as bad as it sounds because what she wanted, rather all she wanted, was to make sure we had what we needed as we grew up. Nothing would stop her from that.
My dad’s health has never the been the best for as long as I can remember and it wasn’t long until he couldn’t work due to his health. So the traditional parental roles were switched and my dad looked after the house, took us to and from school did the shopping and all that stuff while my mum worked all the hours she could to provide for us.
My mum was a hard worker. She had a ton of jobs in her lifetime. She done a job and did it to the best of her ability. And she was widely liked and respected for it. She would often do long shifts.
We use to all hate when my mum was off because she would be on our backs to tidy our rooms to help out more around the house etc. I shared a room with my brother and our room was a particular point of despair for my mum when she was off. She would sometimes just walk in our room look, sigh, walk out and close the door. Most other times she would be belting at the top her longs for us to tidy it. But there were those times when she must have knew there was little hope!
My mum enjoyed singing, she wasn’t the best but that’s what a few drinks do to the vocal cords. Maybe that is why I got into music, there would always be singing when my parents had some friends around or at Christmas and new year.
My mum was all about family. That’s all that mattered to her. I remember her face when she became a grand parent each time. How driving back from the maternity ward she would scream out the window from the top of her lungs “I’m a granny!” to all the passers by. She was so happy. She had another little soul which she could invest her love in.
My mum had such of strength of character which amazed me. She was so strong for all of us. She kept everything together. She knew what to do, when and how to do it. She knew exactly how to deal with every situation.
On the point of my mum doing what she wanted, she married my dad. Now my dad was significantly older than my mum, by 17 years. From what I have been told most people said it wouldn’t last. So 25years later, five kids and three grandkids later my parents proved them wrong. That is before she passed. Despite some intermittent arguments they really loved each other.
Our family has never been one of those family’s which always says to each other “I love you.” And our parents did affirm their love audibly using these words sometimes but it wasn’t a regular thing. Now you might be saying “Awww, that’s a shame” but everything both my parents did reeked of their love for us. Their audible affirmation was never needed, simply a bonus.
And that is the greatest lesson I have learned from my mum and dad. Love is worthless without action. Love is not real love unless it moves and manifests itself. Love is seen. There is evidence of it. And you can conclude no other thing looking at my mums life other than she loved her husband, her children and her grandchildren. And that is how she will be remembered.