I have been without my Mum now for over 16 years and I still miss her. We did not always have the perfect Mother - daughter relationship, but it was ours with all it's faults. Her name was Marie, but pronounced like the end of Waimairi (the Maori place name).
If she was still alive my Mum would now be in her 80's and she was a product of her times. She had me in her late 30's, the youngest of 4 children and I always got the feeling that she and others thought this was quite late to be adding to your family. As the youngest of 4, I do not have any photos of the two of us when I was a baby. Again I think photos were more for special occasions and also my Mum was quite ill after she had me. Although I am not aware of all the details, it may have even been post natal depression, not that it would have been diagnosed at the time or talked about.
She was quite the career woman in her day and owned a hair dressing salon from a very early age, but marriage, moving towns and babies meant the end of her career. She had a love of beautiful clothes and always liked to be immaculately groomed. I remember her always being very "dressed up" even for things like school events and meet the teachers. In fact she would most probably disapprove of some of the photos I am going to put on this post!
Mum loved baking, cooking, sewing and gardening. She made a lot of our clothes, not that I was necessarily grateful at the time, I remember desperately wanting store bought clothes. But when I think back, my favourite clothes were those my Mum made.
She had a little red Mini that she drove and on Fridays she would bring a bought lunch to school for me and my brother - we would run out to meet her at the school gates - chocolate cream buns were the bomb!
We also went on family holidays (all 6 of us) in that Mini. My two sisters (as the eldest) often had to catch the bus to wherever we were going.
I was 13 when my Mum had her first stroke and lost the use of her right side. However she was very determined and worked very hard to get most of the use of her arm, hand and leg back again. But her health was never great and her heart problems were compounded by her own smoking. Despite all this in her 50's she worked with young teenagers who slipped through the gaps, providing some one-on-one tutoring to give them life skills - helping them get their drivers' licenses, open bank accounts, set budgets, apply for jobs and do their own grocery shopping.
One of our daily routines involved sitting down with a cup of tea at the end of a school day and tucking into some of her home baking and talking about the day. How I wish I could sit down with her today and do that once again.
Remembering my Mum on Mothers' Day.