This is not the first post of the year that I wanted to be writing. But things don’t always go the way you hope, plan or want. As most of you will know (if you follow me on Instagram) my darling beautiful and inspirational mother passed away on January 2nd and my whole world was broken into pieces along with my heart.
She was the most gentle, kind, intelligent, go-getting woman I could ever hope to be and is my role model for how to live a beautiful life. Nothing was too much for her, she never complained, not matter how bad things got, never said a bad word behind someone’s back, never stopped wanting to learn new talents and skills – I mean, how many people do you know pass their driving test at the age of 60 and then become regular a gym bunny? Even after she lost her sight, she knitted an heirloom bedspread, a sumptuous scarf for my daughter, and after that started another one for her youngest granddaughter. Four weeks before she passed away, she started trying to learn by heart the first (and quite possibly the most difficult) verse of the Quran – she never gave up her optimistic, positive attitude and trying challenge herself to go further and do more, at a time when most of us should have stopped trying.
It’s now the tenth day since she left us I’m and I doing my best to remember all the good times and to smile whenever I think of her, which is all the time. I take comfort from the fact that we were all there for her when she left us; both her daughters, her two sons-in-law and all her seven grandchildren and she knew how much we all loved her, how much we will all miss her and how much she has inspired us to do as much as we can in our lives.
But it got me thinking. Modern life means that in so many families, lives are so “busy”, we are running around without making time for each other for the everyday normalities, yet when we know someone is in their last days, we drop everything and make sure we are all there for that person in their final days and hours. So many people have said to me, “how wonderful you were all there, she knew all her loved ones were all there when she passed”.
What I’m taking comfort from, bit by bit, day by day, is that we were there for her (and my late father) all the time, not just in the final days. I was lucky enough to live so close by to them until nine and a half years ago that I could have her involved in my babies lives and then daily as they grew up. She came to birthday parties, school concerts, even the mundane things like weekly swimming classes. Mundane to me, but for her, how wonderful to see her grandchildren swim their first length on their own.
As I’m writing, I’ve remembered that I finally managed to get my mother to come to my house in Spain. Such precious memories… the more I sit here, thinking and writing, the more the good memories come flooding through.
So I’m sorry if this has been a rambling post. I don’t think it ever stood a chance of being anything else. There’s so much more I want and need to write, but right now I can’t find the words.
What I really wanted to say here though, if it wasn’t already clear, is celebrate everyday that you have with the ones you love. Let the petty things go. Focus on the things you’d want to remember in the future, not the things that might cause you regret. Don’t let negativity colour your relationships, whether it be with family or friends. The worst thing in life is to be left with regrets that you have no possible way of ever apologising for when it’s too late.
If you love someone, tell them, with your actions as much as your words. Their world, and yours, will be a brighter place for it.
In memory of beloved mother xx
PS: I was going to say that normal service will be resumed when I’m feeling back up to it, but it won’t be normal and it’ll never be back to my previous normal. I have to find a new normal, a new way of living around the gaping hole that is now a constant and permanent part of my life. But you do, life goes on, you have to carry on and my mother would have wanted me to carry on.
So please bear with me and stay with me. xx