So I've been racking my brains for what to get my mum for Mother's Day. I could go down the token flowers/bubbles/smellies route (yawn) but the flowers will die, the bubbles will be drunk, probably quite quickly knowing Mum, and the smellies will be added to the heap that's currently gathering dust on her bathroom shelf.
Instead I thought I'd try something a bit different, I thought I'd write her letter and share it with the world so that she knows just how much I love her and how truly wonderful I think she is... so here it is:
So with Mother's Day just around the corner I've been thinking of how I could possibly start to say thank you for being such a wonderful mum. The truth is I'm not sure I can. For as long as I can remember you've been there for me, guiding me along this crazy, fun, stupid and often terrifying road called life. Fulfilling the role of both Mum and Dad for most of my life you've shown me how to be a good person, how to keep smiling when everything seems to be falling around my ears, how to be caring and loving, how to stay positive, how to laugh at myself, how to stay strong and the biggest life lesson of all... that there really is no situation that can't be tackled if you have a glass of wine in your hand!
When I was told I had breast cancer I walked out of the hospital feeling shocked, scared and broken. The first person I called was you. I can't remember a time in my life when this wasn't my natural reaction - every grazed knee, every trip to hospital (could you have had a more accident prone daughter?!), the multiple car prangs, the broken hearts, the bad days at work, the friendship wobbles, the 'I'm moving house (again) will you help me' call, the fashion dilemmas or recipe questions (your four cheese lasagne is the best in the world, fact!). Whatever the situation, whatever the question, the first person I want to call is you and somehow you always have the answer.
So on that horrible day when I got the news, it was your voice that I needed to hear, it was you I needed to see. And there you were, just a few hours later having run out of work and jumped on the first train from Bumpkin land to the big smoke with nothing but your handbag and a pair of knickers. When I met you at the station and we stood there on the platform hugging and sobbing I knew somehow it would be ok, because you're my mum, and somehow you always manage to make everything ok. Then you got the wine out and I really knew we'd be fine.
"Supportive" is you through and through. You are a rock to so many people, me and Lulu, the girls, the whole family in fact, not forgetting your friends and colleagues. Everyone knows they can rely on you to be there, to give them a hug, to listen, to laugh, to pour the wine and to just be there. You are patient and kind and always see in the good in people. You've never gotten really angry despite the million times you could have 'Yes sorry mum, I did have a house party when you told me not too, um yes I have pierced my ear, again, yeap I've crashed the car, again, oh and I'm really sorry but I've lost your camera, oh and the new camera you got to replace the one you lost, I've broken it, sorry, and um yes I did loose your wedding ring when I wore it to school once for a play... (What a nightmare daughter I was!)
Don't get me wrong for all your loveliness, you also drive me completely crazy! Your inability to operate anything remotely technical is ridiculous, especially but not limited to; remote controls, hospital beds (don't get me started on this one!), my car, my washing machine and the list goes on....You do my head in with your in ability to start a sentence without the use of phrases like "At the end of the day", "Can I just say" and "Yes but, lets be honest..."- like you're going to lie to me?! And no, for the hundredth time, I don't know 'So and so, who used to live next door to such and such, who's cousin went to school with that girl down the road, who's dog looked a bit like ours...' No, afraid not, I have literally no idea who the hell you're talking about and never will.
You are also highly embarrassing, like all good mums should be. Last Easter being the perfect example. In a moment of pure 'embarrassing mum madness' you called my office and asked the person on the other end of the phone if they'd mind popping out to Sainsbury's to buy me an Easter egg, because you'd forgotten to put one in the post for me. You kindly said you'd reimburse them, of course, but if they could see to it that I had one that would be lovely... I was 32 years old, the person on the other end of that phone was the MD of the agency....who subsequently called a mini company meeting to retell the story of my mum asking him to buy me an Easter egg, before finally presenting it to me in front of everyone... mortified!
But as is typical with you, it was also bloody hilarious and just one of my many, many funny memories of you. Like the way you like to dance in front of the fridge - because you can see your reflection and weirdly like to dance with yourself?! Or your appalling singing voice and your tendency to completely disregard the actual lyrics of a song in favour of your own made up version, who can forget the classic "Hose me down" by James. And I'm not even going to get in to the graphic personal details you love to share about me and my sister to any Tom, Dick or Harry you meet - nothing is sacred, nothing. Strangers please gather round and let me tell you about the time that Jodie did... (lets just leave that there shall we). We know you're proud but still, it's embarrassing! Although on that, I am slowly realising that maybe I've inherited the sharing gene, this is hardly a private blog is it... hmmm.
But I wouldn't swap you for all the world and I know that these last seven months would have been immeasurably harder if you weren't right there, by my side every step of the way. Holding my hand, wiping away my tears (and your own), giving me encouragement, telling me I was still gorgeous boobs or no boobs, giving me cuddles, taking me away when I couldn't face the world, cooking for me, cleaning up after me, taking care of me, keeping me laughing, helping me every single step of the way. All the time just being you. Wonderful you.
So when I get snappy because you've left my car in gear (again), or you can't figure out how to use my telly (again), or I'm huffing because you've told me the same story five times already and I'm at that mother/daughter point when I just need to get away from you because you're doing my head in... please know, that even in those stroppy moments I completely and utterly adore you.
Happy Mother's Day, you're one in a million.
P.S Don't worry, there will still be bubbles ;0)