Thursday, 27 January 2011

January 27

This is the day my mother died 12 years ago.  It was sudden, unexpected and overwhelming.  She was 54 years old. 

Until then, I had taken her for granted as one does, getting on with my life and I think not having any real comprehension of how much I loved her.  For a while the loss of her shattered our whole family but slowly things got better in their own way for each of us.  My father who was and remains most clearly lost without her, has lived to see 9 grandchildren, something she would have loved. 

It seems to me sometimes that I am now navigating without a compass.  Pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing in particular have all perhaps been slightly more anxious as a result.  And of course, she has not been around to share the joys either. 

So this is an important day.  For various reasons I will not be in Ireland as I would have liked.  Instead I will be at work and in the evening, meeting friends for dinner.  These are the same people who were with me when I heard she had died and who, whether they realise it or not helped get me through the months which followed.  

This is a picture of her in 1971, wearing a mini-skirt and lacy cream tights which you can't see but I remember them because we were all having our picture taken that day and at one point I was sitting on the floor and I could put my finger through her tights.

She had 4 children by then and would have 6 in all before she was 30. During the mid-seventies she grew her hair long and (shockingly for our small farming village community) wore trouser suits.  With the arrival of my own children has come a recognition and understanding of her need back then to cling onto some sort of identity beyond that of farmer's wife and mother.
My youngest sister and I were talking last Summer about fashion and stuff and she remembered a comment that one her work colleagues had made about Mam, which made us smile because it was so true and perhaps even more than us, she would have loved to hear it - "She always had great style".


  1. A beautiful tribute BM.
    Hope you have a lovely evening with your dear friends. x x

  2. Just what I thought a beautiful testimony to your Mum. She would be proud of you I am sure.

  3. Was unable to be at the Anniversary Mass, but I thought of you all that day..xx