article
When my mum showed me some old pics of herself I realised (shock horror) that she had a life before me

When my mum showed me some old pics of herself I realised (shock horror) that she had a life before me

By Anonymous

This morning I was having a coffee with my mum. She lives close by so I am fortunate to be able to see her on a regular basis. Today she was showing me some things when she was cleaning up one of the rooms in her home. You see my mum is a hoarder - she keeps most things. Case in point is that I am in my forties and only recently she showed me the RSVP notes to my 21st birthday party that she had saved…along with my Grade 2 writing books. So when she pulled out some stuff from her bag I was prepared for something similar. Yet it wasn’t - what she had found was far more profound. You see she had found parts of her ‘old’ life. That life she had lived for nearly 30 or so years before she met my father and certainly before I was even a thought.

The old pictures were travel pictures.  The photos showed mum with some girlfriends sitting aboard a boat on their way to Europe.  Beside her was her ex fiancée. A Maltese man she had intended to marry but it wasn’t to be.  Other pictures showed her dancing with friends in Canada, standing outside a hotel in London and so on. Each picture depicted a young woman, mid twenties at best. Smiling brightly. Fit. Healthy. Strong. The diary entries she had also kept showed trips to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Europe and even Cairo. She would go on to visit all those places, living in some and taking refuge in others. An overnight stay in a toilet in London because she had nowhere to sleep and had run out of money is a story I haven’t forgotten, nor is her living on cups of tea for a week because the grocery bill was over budget. All these stories, all these tales, these friends, these experiences, these life moments happened to a woman that in the pictures looked nothing like my mum. They happened to the woman whom I know best yet I was never a part of those times and nor would I ever be.  I will never know my mother as that young woman. I only know her as my mum.

And so do our own children only know us as ‘their mums’. They may hear stories; they may listen raptly as we share our experiences, yet the life we lived before we had children is something that will always be foreign to them. I often wonder how my children view me. I think they see me as a nag; a mother who yells too much, gets cross quickly and is constantly telling them what to do. They see me simply as their mum and dare I say an uber driver and a chef.  Like I have done with my own mum, they have not imagined what I would have been like before they were around. They would not recognise nor even know the person I have been for most of my life.  It’s not on their radar and it’s not part of their present. It’s a history that they will never know nor be a part of. Yet like my own mum, so much of our past has made us who we are today and so many of our experiences have brought us to the place we now find ourselves. I should appreciate that my mother has, in life, been so much more than just ‘my mum’. It may be our most important job but it certainly isn’t, and hasn’t been, our only one. I’ll try and remember that next time I see my own mother and I’ll try and delve a little deeper into why in fact she did break up with that Maltese fiancée…..

Anonymous

Related Articles

Put your hand up if you are a murderer

Put your hand up if you are a murderer

Put your hand up if you are a murderer? There seems to be a lot of us women out there who are just that. That is, according to a pro-life Christian group who have recently been filmed harassing women as they enter an abortion clinic.

Read more

Behind the veil of miscarriage and grief

Behind the veil of miscarriage and grief

Sadly not all pregnancies progress to a happy ending. A quarter of pregnancies will miscarry in the first trimester, some pregnancies will not proceed past the second or third trimester, and some babies will sadly pass away at birth, shortly before birth or soon thereafter.
Not only do the expectant parents have to cope with grief but also the loss of the dreams that were carried in the womb. Dreams of seeing their baby in the nursery they prepared so lovingly will remain just that, dreams.

Read more

Breastfeeding – beautiful but not always easy

Breastfeeding – beautiful but not always easy

All right ladies, set down the judgmental glances and discard the defences, this week is Breastfeeding Week – a beautiful ode to a natural act that raises more than the occasional hackle in otherwise rational women.

Read more

COMMENTS

Please login or sign-up to add your comment.


Comments (0):

There are no comments yet.