What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from…
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
– excerpts from T S Eliot, Little Gidding
I am hesitant to write anything, for I have so much to say. So much to say to Mum, to me and to you that I fear that this entry will take over the whole page. Or worse, it will not and I won’t have done justice to all that there is to say.
Mum died in 1994 of cancer. I barely speak of her these days. Time has gone by and Mum has become a memory I carry. Well, certainly not one memory, but many memories, held in a place of me that I don’t often go. The details in my head of who she was, have long faded. Her laugh is gone, the sound of her voice disappeared, the scraps of her handwriting I have are strangely foreign to me now. Its all out on the periphery of my mind- all that is, except for one. What I can remember keenly and clearly, what has never diminished, is a great, big smack-bang feeling of Love.
So without her about, Mothers Day has always been a bit of an awful time. A time where I busy myself with life and steer clear of Mothers Day Card stands. I made the mistake once of standing in front of a Blue Mountain Card stand trying to choose, through the inevitable tears, the card I would give to Mum if she were still about. Talk about woebegone – the poor shop assistant! Needless to say, me and Blue Mountain Card stands no longer see each other. I am pretty adept at brushing away any pesky marketing that reminds me of who I don’t have to thank on Sunday.
That was until I became a mother myself. And Boom! All that I had popped carefully away in the back reaches of my mind and heart, came charging back out. Mum hasn’t been about since I was fourteen years old, but somehow, with Albie’s birth I wanted to turn to her again, to talk to her, to lean on her wisdom and strength. But she is nowhere to be found and I miss her all over again.
Its in becoming a Mum that I have got a new appreciation of the relationship that I have lost. And while this all sounds deeply depressing, in fact, it makes me feel HUGELY grateful. Grateful that I had a wonderful Mum to miss at all and grateful that it is now my turn to be that kind of person for someone else. There it is – I think that’s what all this warbling is about. Albie has helped me understand, not just what it means to be a mother but what it means to be a mother’s child. It is something I had packed away for far too long.