Things My Mother Taught Me

It would have been my Mum’s birthday today but 20 years ago I lost her to cancer. I carry her with me, always and in all-ways. Especially now that I too am a mum.

My mother taught me to approach life with humour, to live with grace and to wrap up warm when it’s cold out. She taught me other things too (like how to read and how to ride a bike). But as I sit here and remember her, it’s those three qualities – humour, grace and warmth – that come to mind. And I know that I try to apply them to my relationship with the Pug.

My man and me, we’re always laughing. We laugh often, we laugh loud and we laugh in the face of adversity. Puggy always smiles too, as if he gets the joke. He is a happy, relaxed and adaptable baby. How much of his sunny-side-up nature is him, and how much comes from me and the Pugfather I don’t know. What I do know is that he has a shoulder-shaking silent belly laugh that makes me smile, every day.

My Mum was generous. She gave her time, her wisdom and experience without exception to me, my siblings, friends and family – even strangers. And as she did, so do I. Delaying gratification, putting another before myself, making the right decision quickly and confidently – I have learnt all these skills on the fly since becoming a parent. I try to rise above the squawks and stresses of daily life. I re-mould the mundane into the magical. Humour helps. I scatter fun around Puggy like little bits of glitter. My mum may not be here with me, but I can still draw on her grace as I navigate these new waters called motherhood.

And warmth? Well, November is a cold month. Autumn is all but over. Trees start to look skeletal, their leaves sodden underfoot and disintegrating in the streets. When the butterflies have flutteredby and the bees have all buzzed their goodbyes, I feel my mother’s absence a little more keenly. My thoughts turn inwards. I hunker down, eat stodgy and stout fare and wonder about gloves and how perhaps I should get some. I dig out hats and hoodies, earmuffs and scarves. I wear woollens. “Keep warm,” my mother’s voice advises, so Puggy too is bundled up against the cold. We seek out candles on our adventures, hot drinks and cosy spaces. And we sit, drink and be – with warm smiles on our faces.

As my mother taught me, I will teach my son. Humour, grace and warmth – every interaction is laced with these three. “Each one, teach one” is a saying I fully endorse. In my case it is an act of remembrance, an act of not forgetting an amazing woman, my mother. A simple way of feeling her love and passing it on to the grandson she did not quite get to meet.

Happy birthday, Mama!

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14 Responses to Things My Mother Taught Me

  1. Mary says:

    I think I may have said this before – I really love how you write. Your post has warmed me up on this chilly Day.

  2. prampusher says:

    Thank you Mary; this was a particularly bitter-sweet post to write.

  3. This is a lovely post and it echoes so much of my own feelings too (I lost my Mum almost ten years ago). It’s a lovely tribute to her. Xx

    • prampusher says:

      I’m sorry for your loss, Mummy Glitzer but happy that these words – my words – echo and help elucidate your own emotions. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Georgina Tankard says:

    How lovely, your blog has. brought some warmth on a cold November day. xx

  5. What a beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes. I sometimes lose track of how important my mother is to me because although physically she is with me we lost her a long time ago to dementia so the mother who lives with me doesn’t resemble that amazing woman who put us kids first, taught me right from wrong and steered me through my formative years all that time ago. However reading your post made me realise how lucky I am to still have her with me and even though we sometimes struggle sharing our memories of times past, every now and again I get a glimmer of recognition about a time and place we both remember and I have always considered those times so precious. However your post has reminded me that all our times are precious and sometimes we just need a reminder, like your post, of that. Thank you…

  6. Swazi says:

    Beautiful memories of your mother – thank you for sharing. I cannot imagine being without my mother and her wisdom, kindness & humour.
    As parents we walk in the footsteps of those who loved us as children and do our best to live up to them. Puggy is a very lucky little boy xxx

  7. Michael says:

    I’ve often wondered if I had a chance to spend time with my mother again like in AI, what that would be like. There’s something about Autumn that invites a wistful melancholia. Perhaps it’s the browning leaves and frosty breath of approaching Winter that does it for me. Beautifully written.

  8. What a lovely post, and a lovely way to remember your Mum. I am sorry for your loss, even though it was so long ago, but happy that she is still with you and that your son gets to experience her through you

  9. prampusher says:

    Hi Bissful Mama! Thank you for commenting on this post. Although it is a personal post it seems to have resonated with quite a few people… and that makes me smile.

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