Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mothers Day

I find that the older I get, the more appreciative I become of my Mom and Dad. Sadly my Mom passed away a number of years ago but I am very pleased and relieved to say that I honoured her and expressed my love and gratitude to her while she was still with us. This of course is not to say that I didn't give her plenty of grief over the years and I take full responsibility for the majority of those grey hairs.

Everyone's mother is special to them for all the obvious reasons and we all have a million stories to tell of the not so obvious reasons. I'm telling some of mine right here in memory of my Mom on this particular 'Mother's Day' because she is very much on my mind lately and I have awoken on occasion to her odour. I'm sure that everyone is quite aware that one of our strongest emotional triggers is our sense of smell and that our Mothers each have a very distinct sweet odour ('scent' is probably a more polite word but 'odour' is far more personal and descriptive in my opinion). I actually love waking to that and wish for it more often. I can honestly say that the only thing I really regret in my life is not having more time with my Mom before she passed on. We spent the last 18 years of her life on separate continents and although I would phone her frequently, I never even got to see her face as she aged.

Today though is to celebrate Mom and not a time for sad reflection but some of the joys. I am the fist born child and remember how my Mom would tell me that as first born I was greatly honoured but that along with this great honour came great responsibility to my siblings (3 wonderful brothers). She would often say, "..they will follow your example Peter, so be sure to set a good one." Needless to say I did my best to lead them astray with wine, women and song :) lol.

As a teenager and I'm talking about my late teens (mid teenage years I was a nasty piece of work but back in the early 70's everyone did National Service, best thing that ever happened to me at age 17 - made a man of me). I loved to spend time with my Mom, she was my best friend. I would often take her on my motorcycle to visit her friends and relatives. She would always sit side saddle (which is probably illegal today) and say, "A lady never sits astride anything" oh yes! Mom was a bit of a prude but she was most definitely a lady.

Mom always supported me, even when it seemed that the whole world did not, even when I thought she had given up on me, I once asked Mom why it was always Dad I saw first when I was bent and broken (a frequent occurrence in my younger years). "I can't take it anymore" she said through her tears and we never spoke of this again. I loved the way she would not let us leave the house even for a moment without a kiss goodbye 'just in case the good Lord stopped in to take one of us home'.

We would talk about everything and anything, Mom never had the daughter she always wanted so we boys were not spared the things that mothers do with their daughters, we were taught knitting, crocheting, cooking and all the other niceties of home making and I was Mom's confidant back then as she was mine. I loved teasing her especially in 'Haddon and sly' a rather up market department store where I would fall behind then call out to her, childishly "Mommy, mommy... where are you?" She would turn bright red, get the giggles, rush over and playfully slap me with "Peter, Stop-it! you're embarrassing me!"

She loved to sing and dance while my Dad played the guitar and mouthorgan. Some of my fondest memories are of us (the whole family) on the verandah in Marula Avenue and also Spreckly Road all singing and dancing or rollerskating while Dad played. The laughter was awesome. I remember one night when Mom sang with her brother Joe to Dad's music while we all lived at Marula Avenue and the singing was truly awesome, boy they could sing!

I would spoil my Mom at every opportunity even after I married, my wife is the love of my life and the mother of my children but she is not my Mother and I am truly blessed because my wife has never been jealous of my Mother and in fact came to love her as her own Mom. I was and am therefore able to express my love for my Mom openly and fully as every child should, regardless of age. I know that you are smiling down on us right now Mom.

<3 Love you Mom <3

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