So much of what we know of love we learn at home, and it is always a joy to return, as regularly as I can, to visit ‘The Olds’ as we affectionately refer to them.
This weekend, I decided to make a flying visit up to Yorkshire from London, to surprise she who is my rock, my foundation, my dear beloved Mum. A lovely Sunday Roast in a sweet old hotel in the heart of this pretty, historic town of Beverley has just been had; Mum, dear Dad and Auntie Gnome all happily sated, and I thankful for such blissful blessing. It is one I do not take lightly, for not only is it so rich as the treasure beyond price, I know that I am fortunate where others are not; their Mother taken from them too soon, or perhaps never there at all.
My Mum is not well, plagued by various serious conditions that see she is often in hospital, giving us sometimes much fear and sadness in our worry. But, like many Mothers, she bounces back, battles on, and remains as stoic as ever. Then only last week she fell over and hurt her leg. Mum ignored it for a week, as Mum would. Of course, Mum hates being a bother. Eventually persuaded to have it checked out, turns out she’d fractured it!
It reminds me of the time when my maternal grandmother, a bossy and utterly wonderful matriarch scolded us grandchildren for playing too boisterously in the cobbled courtyard of their rambling Rectory in Northumberland one winter’s morn. A little while later, Grannie entered the kitchen, and my Mother noticed she kept gently rubbing her arm.
“What is wrong, Mum?” my Mother asked.
“Stop fussing Bridget!” came the reply. “I’ll deal with it later.”
Eventually, my Mother persuaded Grannie to show her the arm. It was broken, the bone sticking out.
“You need to go to hospital!” My Mother said.
“Really Bridget, stop fussing. It’ll be fine.” came the reply, Grannie reaching to put more pots on the stove. “Besides, hospital is quite out of the question; we have fourteen people to dinner this evening!”
Not the reply of some lady going senile I must add. Far from it. Grannie was as sharp as ever and still enjoyed a hike up the hill to the castle ruins prior to breakfast. No, Grannie simply never came first, not in her book. Hers was a life dedicated to others. And this is, in general, what mothers do.
Someone once said a mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. This is so true.
You’ll know how much I adore quotes. They serve as my sword, my shield and my comfort blanket, and if anyone in our lives deserve quotes dedicated to them, surely it is our mothers.
So I leave you here with a few, in praise of all those mothers past, those with us now and those yet to be. Some days of celebration are indeed special, and Mothering Sunday is one of them.
My Mother is a never-ending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune.Graycie Harmon
The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness. Honore de Balzac
If the whole world were put into one scale, and my mother in the other, the whole world would kick the beam. Lord Langdale (Henry Bickersteth)
A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavour by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. Washington Irving
An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy. Spanish Proverb
Women are aristocrats, and it is always the mother who makes us feel that we belong to the better sort. John Lancaster Spalding
The sweetest sounds to mortals given
Are heard in Mother, Home, and Heaven. William Goldsmith Brown
Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. Erich Fromm
Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children. William Makepeace Thackeray
Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; A mother’s secret hope outlives them all. Oliver Wendell Holmes
Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, comrades and friends – but only one mother in the whole world. Kate Douglas Wiggin
No painter’s brush, nor poet’s pen
In justice to her fame
Has ever reached half high enough
To write a mother’s name.
(first published March 14th 2010)