Today (the 8th of may) is my beautiful Mother’s 70th birthday and every 7 years, as the calender goes, my Mother’s birthday also falls on Mothers day. So I thought I’d use this comment to celebrate my Mother and Mothers around the world.
We can all say what a good Mother does, but when we look at our own Mothers, I wonder how often we think about who they are?
My Mother has a name, she is named after her Aunt, but that is not who she is. Who she is, is a good, kind generous person, who has a practical nature and a sharp and intelligent mind. She is someone who will help a friend and a stranger, if they are in need, she is someone who loves craft and music and who bakes a mean lasagna. She is a person who likes to travel and explore, who has fun because she got lost, and has fun finding her way back.
She is all these things, but what does she do in the world?
Well my Mum is a triple certificated Registered Nurse and Midwife. She helped thousands of women become Mothers over her 40 year career in the UK and here in Australia. She has delivered thousands of babies and nurtured thousands of new borns in the humidy cribs, too sick to stay with their Mothers in the first fragile days of life. She has educated Indigenous People about health matters and travelled to remote townships to live with them, when she taught them this vital work. She has vaccinated thousands of children, saving their lives from the tyranny of disease.
So I know who she is and what she did, but how does she now spend her days? Well now she is retired, she spends her days creating amazing quilts and items of clothing, by sewing and knitting. She sells them and she gives them away. Each piece gives her so much pleasure that she is always planning ahead to the next. When she is not doing this, she is making music on her Piano or her Guitar. She sometimes watches Agatha Christie murder mysteries on the TV while she sews and she loves to watch Shakespearian plays and Opera.
But when is she happiest?
I think she is happiest when she is with the people who love her most. When she is with her family. When she is with the people she feels most at ease with, her people. The ones who love her back unconditionally. She is happy when she is with her friends; she has a group of friends all who graduated Nursing at the same time, still all alive and living near each other. These women have seen each other through life’s triumphs and tragedies and yet, they remain close and supportive of each other as they have come to the retirement years of their lives.
And so why am I telling you this? Because I took the time to get to know my Mother. To learn that she is not a 1 dimensional person. She is my Mum, the one I think of when I am in distress and the one I think to call on to tell my good news to first. She is the one person who I feel I can hold onto no matter what, she is my soft place to fall. But she is not just that. She didn’t just raise my brothers and I, she also had a career and friends and interests. She continued to learn and gain Degrees and Certifications long into her 50’s.
Sometimes it’s easy to categorise a person, in what they do for us, and to see little of whom they are apart from that. This Mothers Day, I hope that you can see your Mother for all of her self and no matter what your relationship may be with her at this time in your lives, be grateful that she gave you the gift of life. For the greatest gift we children can give to our Mothers, is to use the life we have been given, well and to make them proud. For Motherhood is full of self-sacrifice for the sake of seeing your child live and thrive. Make that sacrifice count.
I love you Mum, happy birthday.