In a few days time, it will be Mothers' Day. One of the loveliest days of the year. Ignoring the blatant commercialisation of the event now emblazoned on our calendars, it is a collective reminder of the importance of the mothers in our lives, a prompt to cause us to thank someone we should be thanking without prompting. The women who forged us, both physically and mentally. I usually look forward to this day of the year, both as a daughter lucky enough to still have a mother to thank and as a mother with children. A day traditionally started by breakfast in bed and a medley of handmade gifts, accompanied by phone calls from those away from home, and cuddles from those close at hand.
But this year will be different. There is one child we will not hear from. One child who I know loved me, who loved us, but who we will never hear from again.
We feel her energy in her household, an energy which fills us with happiness. Now, more than ever, we are grateful for those handmade gifts from years gone past, the thoughtfully made or carefully and consciously bought presents that were as much about her creating and gifting as they were about me receiving. Endearing messages scrawled in handwriting that matured as she did, and the last message, a text which simply reads "Happy Mother's Day. Trying to call you but no answer. Will keep trying, love you to the moon and back!". It is the card from two years ago that I look at every day though, with the scrawled: "Happy Mother's Day Mum. Even though sometimes we don't see eye to eye, but I love you to the moon and back, And I'm sorry for upsetting you."
It is only natural, I suppose that the communications that should convey such meaning become so much more meaningful when circumstances change. In a light so different from that in which they were created, a few sparing lines and handmade cards, texts from the past, are things looked at often...giving voice to one who is no longer heard, and providing concrete evidence of a connection hard to define.
So as you wrap your gifts in readiness for this Sunday, and as you prepare to receive kindness and gratitude from your loved ones, savour it for what it is. Their real worth may never become apparent, but they may one day be a reference point for a love that is real. Soak up the sunshine, hold it tight for days when it may rain!
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Efforts to save tonnes of strawberries from being dumped in the wake of the needle scare, including the sharing of strawberry recipes on social media and strawberry picking outings to pick your own farms, show that we can use our power as consumers to great effect. But this is not the first time we have used our clout to save something we value, as the SPC Ardomona story reveals.
It rained and the roof leaks, but the cat has found a patch of sunshine and the self-sown seedlings are taking over the garden...life abounds even in the dry!