I had been racking my brain over the past few days trying to think of my next blog topic when, I’m embarrassed to say, a colleague pointed out it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday…
For a brief moment, I forgot that one day in the year where we pay homage to the women who brought us into this world.
I have shared many insights about my family over the past two years – and they have been mostly okay with them – but perhaps what I offer up today is the most personal and timely with Mother’s Day on the horizon.
My childhood was pretty much like that of any other Australian kid of the 70s. We had Lego for entertainment, Star Wars too. Oh, and you rode your bike everywhere, you climbed trees and skinned knees, you drank water from a tap, you got kicked out of the house early each Saturday morning and weren’t expected home until tea.
All normal, happy, everyday stuff, until at the age of nine, things changed. Mum became ill and no-one seemed to know why. She underwent a barrage of tests while we all went on this weird strict diet, so weird, in fact, that soon nobody at school wanted to lunch swap with me!
As we lived in Darwin she also had to travel to and spend considerable time in Adelaide. I’m a little hazy on the time lapse as, to be honest, there were more pressing matters occupying this now 10-year-old’s focus, hugely important stuff like who the new Dr Who companion was going to be.
Mum was eventually diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis – or MS – and back then, my knowledge of it was severely limited, perhaps extending only so far as MS being the annual readathon at school. Clearly, I knew nothing of the condition or how it affected your body…and in the pre-historic pre-Google era, I headed for the local library to read up on it in the heavy leather-bound volumes of the Medical Encyclopaedia.
Even then, I wasn’t fully able to comprehend precisely what lay ahead for my mother.
Over the years, I have watched her body turn against her, to the point where she is sadly pretty much bed ridden at such a young age. It has taken becoming a parent myself to appreciate that, throughout her considerable physical struggles and life-changing circumstances, she never once deviated from the role she was never paid for.
Being my mum.
So while most people will spend Sunday taking their mums out to lunch or enjoying that time with the children (young and old), I will be sitting with and caring for mum, listening to her retell the same story about how I was a really FAT baby (believe me, she likes to emphasise the ‘fat’ aspect).
I will do it with absolute pleasure as this one day does not do justice to the woman who put my sister and me ahead of her own needs. And I suspect it’s the same for many mums the world over.
So, cheers to all the mums – and most importantly, to my very special mum.
Happy Mother’s Day x