I was slowly coming to this morning and some burbling correspondent on the radio said it was Trafalgar Day. This celebrates Nelson’s victory in 1805 at the eponymous battle when there seems to have been a fair bit of man love going around what with ‘Kiss me Hardy’ being the catch phrase de jour (note: now the Archaeologist is back with us, having survived death by a thousand router wires courtesy of BT, he will correct all historical inaccuracies here – I could attach a wiki link but frankly he’ll be more comprehensive and accurate – just glance in the comments, people).
So a big day all round for lovers of cannon and derring-do on the high seas. It also happens to be the 90 anniversary of my mother’s birth. And it sort of bums me out that I needed a goon on the radio to give me the nudge to remember that. Both mum’s and dad’s birthdays are celebrated days here – dad’s is Armistice Day – but I invariably see his coming and have a little reminisce. Not so with Mum, it seems.
Which is a bugger because as time passes I can see a lot more that I gained from her in her quiet ways than I appreciated at the time.
She was a firm advocate of the Maya Angelou school of resilience
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t moan.
She didn’t ever hector to get her point across. She never shouted. She used a rigorous logic to debate her point and knew what to do when she was arguing with a brick wall – it hurts you more than the wall to keep hitting you head against it.
She enjoyed other’s pleasures so much that seeing others happy made her happy. She never sought the limelight but ensured it fell on others to show them to their best advantage.
Best of all ‘can’t’ wasn’t a word in her vocabulary. Back in the 70s we weren’t well off. Not poor but no fripperies. But that didn’t stop her. As a teenager I wanted to have my own clothes, but affording anything fashionable was a no no. So she made them for me.
My friends at the time will tell you I was a fashion disaster but the choice of style and cloth were mine, the craftsmanship hers.
She fixed the car exhaust when it blew and was under the bonnet with dad’s best friend trying to learn from him what to do to keep the family Ford on the road.
And she never embarrassed me (well apart when she had me steal for her but that’s in another post) but rather went out of her way to see things from my point of view – something my father would never have attempted.
So to mothers everywhere, thank you for the unquestioning support you give those around you. Today is my Mother’s Day and I hope it is a good one.