I've been wanting to write this post for a fortnight but held off as I knew it'd be emotional.
I am thankful to my Mum for my life. Why? Well quite simply because I was conceived by a teenager in the 1970s in holy Ireland in a strictly Catholic respectable family. I could quite easily have been a statistic, rather than a person, or adopted.
But no, my Mum got on a boat to the big smoke, and had.... me!
I always planned on having a child young, as I LOVED having a young Mum, but I turned into a career girl and instead was 37 when I had Aaron. Nearly 20 years older than the age my Mum became a Mum.
I struggled in those early months and years. How on earth did she manage?
I know, she didn't even send me to nursery as she said she would have missed me too much. She therefore made up for it by teaching me at home, and I could read before I started school. It is only now as a Mum of a 4 year old who is only in Reception, that I see what a very big deal that was. She cut up cereal and toothpaste packets, and put that sticky back plastic stuff on them. Each piece of card had a word on, and so this here genius was born ;-)
When Aaron was 2 weeks old, my Mum came over from Ireland and stayed with us for 9 weeks. I think she was already trying to teach him how to talk. He was trying to keep up with her bless him:
I didn't want for anything as a child, apart from perhaps a sibling. My Mum was one of seven, and the second eldest, so I think took to Motherhood like a duck to water as she had mothered her siblings. In fact, she went to boarding school to get a break from all that. A break that led to .... me!
She became a single Mum when I was only 8 years of age, so that was a period of time where her resolve was once again tested. My needs again were always put first. It took till my final year of University, when I guess she considered that I could fend for myself, for her to embark on a new life, for the second time, this time back home in Ireland.
So, this Mother's Day I want to thank the lady that gave me life. The lady that gave up a life in Ireland, where all her friends and family were/are, to nervously move to the UK. To make a life here. To give me the very best of the best.
To give me the strength of character that she clearly has in abundance. To give me the confidence to walk into a crowded room, like she stepped into a crowded country.
When she moved here, it was in the days where Bed and Breakfasts and Pubs, had signs in the windows saying "No Blacks, No Irish", and yet we think nowadays that the whole UKIP thing is a new phenomenon; that the waves of Polish immigrants are something we have not seen before. We had Irish shops, Irish dancing (think Riverdance), Irish dance halls (think nightclubs, where you dance - jive/waltz - as couples), and Irish community centres. We mixed well, but liked to be with our own too. Which given the hostility and the "troubles" was totally understandable.
Thanks to being the only grandchild for some years (on both sides) and thanks to hanging out in Irish dancehalls at functions and dinner and dances, I mixed with adults a lot, which gave me the vocabulary and confidence I still have today. Although depression and self doubt shakes me to the core often, until I ground and centre myself, which since becoming a Mum is something I seem less able to do. I'm often "scattered" which means I seek comfort rather than pursuing my goals. But I am increasingly aware of this.
There's the real me, and then there's the me that looks for validation and acceptance in others. I also expect a lot from people. Something that's come down the generations from my maternal Grandmother, who wow! had an iron rod, and a sharp tongue. I am way softer, but I have an inner tigress who wants to leap, when I see an injustice, deception, dishonesty, or selfishness. The women in my family do what needs to be done, because it needs to be done, and not for a round of applause. I do however often chase praise (something that drives my hubby insane), and it is not one of my finer qualities but one I am very self-conscious of. The women in my family are grafters, but chronic fatigue since redundancy has seen that side of me suffer. I still am inclined to take on too much, and say yes to more than I am able for, but equally I am a sofa surfer, who is wasting her best years. I know I will regret this. If my Mum lived in the same country as me, she would quite frankly kick my but... but that's where the story takes a turn... In my 20s she moved back to Ireland.
If I hadn't already met my husband, clearly I would have gone too. I spent EVERY Summer holiday in Ireland. I consider it my "home". I had my 21st birthday party there (it was like a wedding reception), I had my wedding there, and in Aaron's early years we were there frequently.
So, I am thankful to my Mum for everything. For always putting me first, throughout my childhood. By showing me a work ethic. By carving into my veins, a need to stand up for what is right and true. I am thankful, that when I met my husband at school, she did not show any of the prejudice that she herself would have experienced when arriving here.
I am also thankful that we embarked on our spiritual journey, and our foray into alternative medicine and therapies at the same time. We have discovered and journeyed through every type of new age cure going. It's been special to share that experience together since the 1980s as early adopters of the changes that came as we as humans entered the Aquarian Age. I was my Mum's very own Aquarian child, hence sometimes I embraced something before she did. I've seen her go through huge life changes and challenges, and come out unscathed. She's a constant reminder of what is possible if you work with your guides and angels.
I miss her though. With me being in the UK and her in Ireland. It is my biggest wish that we will see each other this year as we did not in 2014.
This post is in order to win a competition, that may see us travel together. Oh and that is the other thing, my Mum has never ever been abroad, other than a day trip to France with work, many years ago. So this holiday would see two dreams come true. I'd get to see her and she'd see some of the world.
We could win:
Eurostar trip to Bruges for you and your mother. (the prize)
- 2 x Standard class Eurostar return tickets to Brussels
- 1 x Connecting train between Bruges and Brussels
- 1 x Standard double/twin four nights 4* Hotel accommodation
- 1 x Day trip by rail to Ghent for two persons
Full details can be found here: https://www.greatrail.com/grj-independent/holidays/bruges-and-ghent-tour
Wish me luck