A different kind of Mother’s Day

There’s always two every year, one in the UK (always two weeks before Easter Sunday) and the other in New Zealand (the second Sunday in May). This year was markedly different. It was the first year without my dear Mum and the first year without our oldest daughter in the same country as us.

My babies really have grown up!

February 2010

This Mother’s Day, here in New Zealand, I woke early to drop hubby at the airport, for a flight to Melbourne. Since the pandemic travel restrictions have lifted he spends just over a week in Melbourne every month or two, with work, but also has the bonus of catching up with our oldest daughter, who is now living there and attending the University of Melbourne. My other two lovely daughters are now 16 and 12. They woke up to give their Daddy a hug, wish me ‘Happy Mothers Day’, and then gave me freedom to head out and run the hills of Welly. I came home to a lovely long hot soak in the tub and curled up with a good book.

Mother’s Day run in the hills of Wellington

This year I’ve taken time to reflect on all the wonderful mothers days I’ve shared with my daughters when they were little and be grateful for the happy times I had with my own dear Mum, before she passed away of Alzheimer’s disease in December at the age of 74. She’s in my thoughts so much and I miss her, but am glad she’s no longer living the torture of Alzheimer’s disease; I now think of the happy moments we shared before those difficult years – which is what she’d want me to do.

February 2010, with my Mum, two little froglets and one soon to arrive!

I also take strength in thinking of her being reunited with her dear Mum on the other side. My Grandma passed away in 2007, at the grand age of 92, and around five years later my Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. My Mum would be confused as to whether her Mum was with us or not. She missed her Mum greatly, as she was part of her life for sixty wonderful years. I like to think my Mum is now free of confusion and her soul is full of contentment and peace, once more with her dear Mum and Dad.

I am grateful my Mum was in my life to see her granddaughters come into this world, to hold them when they were babies and enjoy them for a few years, before the disease muddled her mind. She would delight in sending them cards and little things in the post, making them giggle over Skype calls and enjoying holidays with them. They were 4, 8 and 10 when she was diagnosed. As they grew and thrived my dear Mum started to deteriorate. As we adjusted to each new stage of parenting my dear Dad adjusted to a different stage of caring for Mum’s differing needs of support. The cards in the postbox stopped arriving, as Mum forgot how to write, and her appearance on the Skype calls became infrequent as she got increasingly confused. We learned to hold her in our hearts and minds, to carry the memories of the good times whilst rallying around to support her in anyway we could.

My Mum loved children, and was a primary school teacher for over twenty years of her life, as well as a caring mother to my sister and I. It felt strange to not send her flowers this year, or something for the garden to brighten her day.

I am very much in a time of change and adjustment right now and that’s a path we all walk at different stages in life, for various reasons. This year I was grateful for time to reflect and be thankful for the memories. My husband sent me a lovely photo of himself with our oldest daughter, having dinner together, which at least made me feel we were all connected in some way, whilst my younger two gave me time to be free with my thoughts.