I remember, when I was younger, I used to hide myself away in my bedroom for hours crafting bright and colourful cards with my favourite sparkly gel pens. Our Dad would take us to the shop where we’d pick out a bright bouquet of flowers.
In primary school we’d write poems of how much we love and appreciate our Mum, coupled with a nice drawing that she was always so grateful to receive.
When I was a teenager, I’d wake up early and prepare a full English breakfast, or pancakes with a cup of tea, one sugar, and a bunch of daffodils – her favourites.
If I was at university when Mothering Sunday came around, she and Evee would visit me in Swansea, and we’d spend the day walking to the Mumbles and getting a really nice Sunday Roast in a restaurant in the Gower.
Last Mother’s Day was one of my favourites. We actually celebrated it on the Saturday. It was the first year that I had my own car, so we finally didn’t have to rely on Mum to drive on her day out. My Mum said she wanted to go to a specific restaurant for lunch, on the coast, and so, that’s what we planned to do. I hadn’t driven there before, but she knew the way, through the lanes which were muddier than usual due to the wet weather the previous week. All three of us in my car, carefree and listening to music – it was one of our favourite things to do. Everything was going smoothly until we approached a flood in the lane that was too deep for my little black beetle to drive through. The restaurant was just a stones throw away, that we could see it but the water was just too deep that it would have flooded the beetle’s engine had I driven through. None of us knowing how to get through the flood, we were parked in the middle of the lane and couldn’t help but cry with laughter as a big 4 x 4 Range Rover simply drove around us and made it look nothing more than a shallow puddle. I, however, was forced to do a three-point turn and drive back up the bumpy road we had just driven down, finding it far too funny to be disappointed. It didn’t matter because Mum knew another little pub with really good food, not far away. And she was right, the food did look really good… on the menu, but unfortunately, they were fully booked. So, we drove on to find another pub, and we just couldn’t believe it when the waitress said that we couldn’t eat there either because they were expecting a large wedding party. None of us were annoyed though. It was a really funny situation. The sun was shining, and we were happy listening to music. Eventually, after a few wrong turns we finally came to another restaurant with an even better menu than the previous places we had been too. It was even on the coast! Our meal was lovely, and Mum was really happy and thankful.
I’ve been really emotional leading up to this Mother’s Day. I miss her more with every passing day. Her absence at home is deafening. I spend a lot of my weekends visiting her. It’s a beautifully serene place and I feel very comfortable there. Sometimes my younger sister and I take a picnic blanket, we lay down and have a good cry!
Naturally, I had planned to do that again this weekend. After thinking about it more though, I know she’d much prefer me to spend this Mother’s Day weekend with two of my closest friends, creating new memories. I can sit at Mum’s grave for hours at a time, and sometimes I don’t feel any closer to her there, than I do in my everyday life.
So, instead, I’m going to spend the weekend with two people who knew and loved my Mum; who spent time with her and who laughed with her, and that gives me great comfort.
My mum was a real person, we are so lucky to have so many real memories that I take with me everywhere I go. And this weekend I am going to make some more memories. She always loved that.