How do you remember your Mother?

A3128431-A2F1-41AC-A2B5-3C8F1A9CF560It’s a very perculiar thing to think about while your mother is still alive: How do you remember her? But an even stranger thing is to look at the person who is in fact your mother and not recognise her. What I see now is not how I align myself with the picture I have of her, in my memories, in my mind’s eye, when I simply just think of her.

She was always a big lady, not just in size but in presence. The general aura, the feel of her. Big breasted, big opinioned, big ideas. She would wrap you up in her big embrace, all cleavage and the smell of cigarettes and imperial Leather soap. Big purple hair, big mouth.

I don’t recognise the woman who is asleep on this bed now. She is tiny. Her legs shrunk beyond recognition. Those strong,big legs that held the five of us afloat for years. Who will hold us afloat when she is no longer here. Can we swim on our own Finally? Perhaps that is what hold us back from swimming our own rivers and streams. She says she wants to swim in the sea with us one last time, Rebecca doesn’t think Beth and I  could save her if she started to drown. I think the water taking her away would be a better death than what is to come. She could walk out into the sea like Stephen Mackintosh in that programme we all loved. Beth and I could stand at the shore blaring outs RadioHeads Exit Music For a Film from an old tape player. At least she would have the control.

I feel as if I don’t want to remember her the way she is now, all bones and regurgitation. It would be easier if she had just lost weight naturally, like she had always longed for. Not have the flesh eaten by this evil cancer. But then she is still my mum no matter what size or condition. I will aalways have  the memories of her when she was well, I can try and embrace the memories of her when she is not so. I guess they will always just be tinged a little bit with sadness and the scent of cigarettes and imperial Leather soap.





6 Comments on “How do you remember your Mother?

  1. Oh honey…
    I remember feeling all of this just over 13 years ago, when my mom had cancer, as clearly as if it were yesterday. And I wish I could give you a hug right now, I wish I could make your mother well again. When someone you love so much and is so important to you has cancer, it is incredibly difficult to watch the progression of the illness, no matter how slowly or quickly it happens, to watch it seemingly take away the person you care for, but your mother is still there even if she is hard to recognize now. She’s still there, she still loves you, and that will never, ever change. Even though my mom has been gone for many years now, I know that she is still with me, and that she still loves me, and I hold on to that. I honestly believe that the people we love and who love us never truly die, they are a part of us and we carry them with us throughout our lives.

    Sending you so, so much love. If you ever want to talk, please know that I’m here and you can email me. ❤ Hang in there sweetie.


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