How do you say goodbye to your Mum?
I have not known life without her. She was there when I was born (funnily enough!) and she loved me for 45 years.
She was there when I first walked and talked. She took a photo on my first day of school.
When I wanted a horse, Mum was there to help me choose. She learnt alongside me how to care for him, she walked alongside me when I was too young to ride on my own. She was there when I did my first show, and she picked me up when I had my first fall. She carted hay in the old station wagon and trudged through the mud with us in winter.
Over the years we had dogs and cats, horses, sheep, goats and even a duck! Mum was always there to help us care for them and I believe my love of animals today stemmed from learning what good friends they could be and how rewarding looking after them is. Mum was a city girl and had never had pets until we moved to Healesville, but she learned along the way and grew to love the country life we had.
Mum was there to soothe a broken teenage heart and told me the right one would come along. She was there at my wedding, standing beside us smiling her beautiful smile.
As a child you expect your mother’s care, as a teenager you take it for granted. As a twenties-something, you’re too busy creating your own life to appreciate it. But as I’ve matured in age and outlook, I’ve realised how lucky we were to have a mum who loved us constantly, consistently and unconditionally. She showed us what it meant to love and be loved, and the great love between Mum and Dad is something we should all aspire to. We were never left wondering with Mum – always ready with a big smackaroo kiss on the cheek, a cuddle and telling us she loved us.
Mum was there for us always, she never let us down or disappointed us. It was an honour to help care for her in the past four or five years and in some ways I feel I got to know her and love her even more. Her true spirit shone through in the way she faced her challenges, and she was always grateful and gracious.
It has been a privilege to be part of such a caring family whose only concern was that mum was happy and comfortable and enjoying her days as much as she was able.
As Mum’s condition progressed, her spirit become more beautiful, if that could be possible. She maintained her dignity and sense of humour and everyone who met her, even for the first time, would say “oh, she’s got a beautiful smile”. Even on the bad days, it would light up her face and we’d all smile too. She even developed a little bit of a wicked laugh! She knew when she was being cheeky and put on funny accents – her favourite was the posh one – so we’d all have to be posh too!
Mum had a few quirky little sayings, but one that particularly stays with me and has become part of our family’s vocabulary, is one I’d like to share with you. Sometime over the years, I can’t recall when, Mum started saying “Oooooh, that’s a lovely breeze” when a soft wind would pass over her to cool down a hot day. I now find myself saying it, and perhaps now you will too, and know that it’s Mum popping by to wrap her arms around you to let you know she’s ok and is looking over us all. And no doubt she will have a beautiful smile on her face.
So, how do you say goodbye to your Mum?
You can’t. You just say thank you Mum for being the best mum a girl could hope for. I will love you always and I wish you a peaceful sleep, our beautiful princess.