Your mother loves you no matter what

2012-05-11 00:00

THEY say you never appreciate your mother until you become one. I think you never really appreciate her until she is gone. When that umbilical cord is forever severed you are really on your own and no one will love you as much as your mother.

A friend of mine recently lost her mom. She had chosen to care for her as she withered away from a strange disease. For her it was a gift of love as she shared those last days with the woman who had given her life and love.

Fathers, partners, children and friends are all part of the kaleidoscope of colours that make up our lives but mothers are the original lamp in the darkness that greets us as we land on this planet. Mothers possess a rare combination of skills, always seeming to have the appropriate one on tap at the right time. They are mentors, friends, nurses, confidantes and teachers, and their hugs and smiles are worth more than any commodity on a shop shelf.

Most mothers manage to steer us, their children, to adulthood despite massive challenges and they sacrifice many things willingly to provide for us.

Since becoming a mother I have realised that caring for one’s children is an instinct that is passed on from generation to generation, changing slightly from one era to the next. There are many different styles of mothering but none is better than the next.

Mothers are not always saintly. I have at times been furious with mine, believing she is old-fashioned and infuriating. In my youth I sulked for days trying to wound her with my silence, but I have never been unsure of her love.

I was always sure that I was not going to be like her. I was a rebel with a cause. She was conventional, pretty and an incredible cook. I was gawky, unconventional and a disaster in the domestic department. Early on I rejected her matching outfits and high heels, and decided on loud kaftans and bold patterns instead. She could rule the home and I would conquer the world.

Despite our differences she is always there for me and many times she has saved the day when my children needed birthday cakes, or catering for a dinner, and she always gives me sound advice when I am in a crisis.

Secretly, I think there is a lot of my mom in me. Together we watched a video someone had shot at a family function and we were giggling at how similar our gestures are. On the phone we sound identical.

My daughter says to me sometimes: “Mom will I grow up to be as pretty as you?” and I realise that mother worship is a gorgeous part and parcel of the whole mothering experience. She thinks I am a goddess, probably not for too long.

Mothers treasure these childhood confessions of unedited love because adult children do not dispense it freely and instead package it on appropriate days like Mother’s Day inside formal cards.

A greetings card company in the United States promoted free Mother’s Day cards in a men’s prison and it was so successful it ran out of stock. The same company decided to do the same thing on Father’s Day and the effort was a huge flop. Very few inmates took up the offer.

Even prisoners remain forever hopeful that their mothers will still love them, no matter what they have done.

• Read more columns at trishbea


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