She was naturally beautiful. She didn’t need to wear much make-up to enhance her already pretty features. Always stylish, as you can see in the above photograph, sporting 1940s fashion and hairstyle. Of course, I didn’t see her like that. I wasn’t yet born. However, I remember how I loved to watch her brush her auburn hair and sweep it up into a glamorous 1950s French Roll. Then she would apply a small amount of perfume behind each ear. For as long as I could remember, she always wore Coty L’aimant, the cream kind in a small black bottle. I can still smell it now … in my memory. It is possible.
My mum was a popular lady, glamorous and fun-loving. Huge family parties were always held at our house, especially at Hogmanay, when there would be much drink flowing, but mum never needed a lot of drink to enjoy herself. A couple of brandy and babychams could last her the whole evening – she was too busy singing and dancing, while dad would be snoring in a corner somewhere after his first pint.
My brother and I never wanted for anything. Mum and dad weren’t terribly well-off, but mum was great at organising the finances, so we always had good food, nice clothes, an annual holiday and lovely Christmases. She would have given us both the moon if she could. I know that because she told us so.
Things weren’t always good though. Mum had a chaotic upbringing in a large family, with a father who suffered from depression, passed down from his parents and then to his own children … and so the cycle perpetuates itself. She grew up with depression at a time when medical help wasn’t as available as it is nowadays. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the menopause hit her just as I was encountering the hormonal turmoil of being a teenager. We fought and hurt each other terribly. Things were said that should never have been spoken and offences committed that should never have happened. It was a paradoxical nightmare of love and hate that caused a great barrier to grow between us over the years.
We both tried. There were times of tenderness, hugs, smiles and laughter. Love was still there. It was simply hidden behind clouds of depression, helplessness and desperation … but we never really understood each other and it was too much for either of us to cope with.
The years rolled by and mum spent the last two years of her life bed-ridden. She died at the age of 86. What I missed most of all about her was that we never had a proper mother/daughter relationship. It could have been so much better without all the depression that caused us to hurt each other. However, no one was to blame. It was no ones fault.
What I do know is that, as a Christian, mum is with Jesus and, just weeks after she died, the Holy Spirit brought me much comfort, letting me know that she was healed and loved me now as only a mum could love a daughter. I gave all the hurt to God and I knew then that when I go to be with Jesus, he will heal me as he healed my mother. So, although some things still sneak into my mind now and then, I refuse to dwell on them and I tell Satan that his tricks won’t work, because the past no longer has the ability to hurt me nor corrupt the divine love that God has gifted to me and my mum.
*Happy Mother’s Day Mum*
Mother’s Day – 22/03/2020 – U.K.