In my last post I showed you our gallery wall, but there was one wall I hadn’t shown you. This one:
This is on the opposite side of the disco loo and has just three frames, which kind of didn’t go with the rest. All of them are on the sentimental side. Indulge me…….
The first is a card I gave mum for Mothers’ Day in 2009. I found it in her bedside drawer when I had the hideous task of cleaning out the house after she had finally given up the fight against her poor broken body. It was a card in which I had written about how we were both coming to terms with the fact she wouldn’t be with me on my wedding day. I described how, in her absence, I was going to walk myself down the aisle, knowing she was with me every single step. I described how no-one else could take her place.
The second card – that I found in her desk drawer – was one Oly and I spotted in a bookshop in the Lower East Side, NYC, 2010. Whilst we were away she got pneumonia. The card just jumped out at me as what I wanted to know that she knew. She effectively kicked me out when I was 19 – I had delayed going to uni for a year and then got an unconditional offer for Leeds. She told me if I didn’t go and live my own life then she would kick me out anyway, she would be ok and so would I. So, the hardest thing I have ever done – or will ever do – was to leave my caring role behind and go and find me. No matter what I was doing or where I was, I don’t think I stopped worrying since 1996.
The final card was the last birthday card she gave me. If you hadn’t yet worked it out – keep up! – I bloody adored my mum; she was incredible. She had the most amazing tenacity, abundant kindness, ridiculous sense of humour and greatest resilience for the constant shit life had thrown at her. She adored Oly – loved him like a son – and he loved her back. She valiantly fought illness for 26 years and we were as close as a mother and daughter could ever be.
When Oly and I were framing these cards we discussed whether they made us sad and we both agreed it was the total opposite.
They remind us of the importance of love and the strength of words, they make us smile.
Mum is buried in a peaceful memorial woodland and, under her growing oak tree is a stone that includes the words: “Dearly loved, and confident that love is stronger than death.”
And, ok, ok, you’re wondering if this indulgent sentimentality really has a place in our disco loo. It has. She’d have died laughing.