Today I…am thinking about my mum.
It’s Mothers Day here in the UK. A time to celebrate being a mum and having a mum, even if she’s no longer here.
My mum was only little- 4ft 11- but we used to joke that she had the strength of ten men, especially when she was mad. She had beautiful skin- no soap and water or expensive creams- just regular moisturising with baby lotion or nivea creme in a blue and white pot with a foil seal that you had to peel back. I can smell it now.
She worked so hard when I was growing up: at one time she had three part time jobs, she used to walk into town (about 2 miles) twice a week and do the shopping, carrying it back by hand or dragging a shopping trolley. I wish I’d helped more, but I was a lazy little sod.
Things I have got from my mum:
- sense of humour- she laughed a lot, was always happy to laugh at herself and giggled when drunk- sound familiar? My kids called her ‘funny nanny’. Now I’m proud to be funny nanny to Oliver & Jackson! Thanks Mum.
- crafting- mum had lots of imagination and patience (much more patient than me!) – from knitting baby clothes, sewing dolls clothes (by hand), building tents in the garden using clothes airers and Dad’s fishing umbrella ( he was FURIOUS ‘cos we broke it), making old clothes into dressing up clothes, making dolls houses and furniture out of yoghurt pots and aerosol lids… we were upcycling long before it had a name. It never occurred to us to buy stuff like that when it was so much fun to make it ourselves. Looking back, there probably wasn’t money to spare for buying things like that. I’m glad we did it our way. I still remember one Christmas morning, opening a shoe box full of tiny hand sewn outfits for my Sindy doll- beaded evening dresses, beachwear, dresses with matching hats and bags and slippers. She must have spent hours sewing them and I loved them and played with them for years. Thanks Mum.
- she could create a meal out of random ingredients – we call them ‘bottom of the fridge’ dinners. I can do this too, and so can my sister. Thanks mum.
- I had a lovely childhood. A charmed life and I am grateful. I always knew I was loved even when I screwed up- and I did. I always knew she was proud of me and there to support me. She taught me to be a confident woman, a sister, a daughter, a mother. Thanks mum.
Here are some pictures. Jean Mary Andrews (1928-1999)