Like mother, like daughter

Sunday, April 03, 2011

So. I don't usually post anything at the weekend, but today is special. Today is Mothers' Day. I know some people may argue that it's all just yet another baseless display of rampant commercialism and that we should celebrate our mothers every day - both of which are probably true - but, under the circumstances, frankly I am just happy to have a Mother around to have a Day. To that end, I have a very, very special post for you.

Perhaps you have been wondering where I got my amazing, ground-breaking writing talent from? Yes, I thought you were. Well, you don't need to look very far to find the answer (sorry Dad) - it's all down to my clever, talented, hilarious and generally awesome mother, Rosie. She's basically me, but wiser and tidier. Not only has she passed on her excellent genes and taught me everything I know about handbags (1. You can never have too many. 2. See 1), she has also very kindly agreed to write a safe mooring's first ever guest post! Yay! Please give her a very warm welcome and lots of love in the comments. And be warned: you might need a tissue...

Without further ado, I give you my lovely mum.

My mum, a 70s babe

Greetings to those of you who enjoy reading Kirsty's thoughts on weddings, shoes, her lovely Hubster and things in life which take her fancy. Today you are getting, instead, a few words from the person who has known her longer than anyone in the world, who first saw that wee face appearing from the arms of the midwife and who has shared in all the ups and downs of her 27 years. For Mothers' Day, dear readers, you are getting the Mother.

I was chuffed when she asked me to write something as it helped to shore up my bizarre belief that I am still young and hip! I mean, blogging. Most of my pals won't even know what blogging is. My wrinkles, body and birth certificate all tell me that I am 60, but this information has failed to get through to my brain. I am not sure what mental age I have, but certainly not very grown up.

My parents, 3 October 1980

You often read about children who live in awe of their parents. Since Kirsty started writing this blog, I feel a certain role reversal. I am so impressed by her writing and crazy thoughts. I have laughed out loud and cried – slow tears dropping onto my laptop and somehow not making it grind to a halt.

Yet while being so impressed by her ability, I have also been touched by how big a part I have played in her life. That may sound stupid – I am her mother, I helped bring her up, of course I am a major player – but we don't really go around all the time saying these things. Kirsty may have written about my lack of religious faith, but I was still brought up a good Scottish Presbyterian girl and we don't gush about our emotions.

Little ol' me (note the blue outfit)

There have been a couple of posts which have brought home how much she appreciated something I may have done as a mother. Firstly, the recipe book! I didn't realise at the time how much she had liked that. It just seemed such an obvious thing to do when your kids leave home and I assumed everyone else had done that. Kirsty leaving home was such a heart wrenching time, I was happy to do anything which would take my mind off it all. I wasn't mad when it went missing – what would be the point in that?

I had a Granny who, as they say in my home town of Glasgow, would “go mental” if you broke/lost anything and it was something I didn't want to carry into my family life.

My wee bro

Secondly, I loved her writing on my Mum's wedding book. That my Dad died when I was pregnant with Kirsty and never met her or Ali, her brother, is one of the saddest things in my life. But they did get to know my Mum, albeit for only a few years, and she was one hell of a Nana in that time. That their wedding book played a part in Kirsty's thoughts of her own wedding brought me great joy. That she could use it to write with such humour and so touchingly was the icing on the cake (sorry, bad pun).

Me, Nana and He-Man

However, as you can probably imagine, the post which had the biggest impact on me was A Little Cloud. If my father dying before seeing my children was one of the saddest things for me, then having this wretched disease has definitely overtaken that in the “why did this happen to me?” stakes.

As I have learned over the past 11 years, people with cancer approach it in many different ways. Often they don't want to talk about it all, pretend it isn't happening, and they can make it difficult for others to know how to deal with it. I was definitely in the other camp of believing that a problem shared is a problem halved, and would blab about everything. Maybe I bored friends and family rigid, I don't know, but quite frankly I don't care. [Editor's note: you didn't.]

Two blondies

Those of us with cancer are called many things – the most common one is “brave”. I am not sure if bravery really comes into it; you have no choice in the matter and just have to get on with it. What I think I have been most is “greedy” - greedy for time. When I was first diagnosed, Kirsty was 16 and Ali, 14. She was about to sit her Highers and determined to get the best results possible (and she did!) and I felt so bad breaking this news to her a few weeks before it all.

But most of all I just felt that I was being cheated of time with them. If only I could see them leave school, study or get a job, that would be a bonus. Then as time went by and I seemed to recover from it all, I was greedy for other things. If only I could see them married, be happy, get a job they really liked. These things I have seen and many more great things have been shared with my kids.

Image by Lillian and Leonard

But now that my future is less certain, with the spreading of my cancer (I always call it “my” cancer, I am very proprietorial about it) those greedy thoughts have come back to me. If only I could see them settle in their own homes and maybe one day have their own families living in them. But who knows? It is all in the lap of the gods and the drugs which I take. However, to get back to her blog, reading Kirsty's thoughts on it all was so lovely – maybe this time it is harder to share every thought with each other, it is almost too difficult.

Race for Life, May 2010

I would like to finish this on a lighter note!! As you may have gathered, Kirsty has always had a love affair with shoes [Who, me?]. I have her first pair of wee navy Clarks sandals somewhere which I must give to her to add to her collection. It is bad to generalise, but I am pretty sure most of your fathers were unsure of this “shoe thing” their daughters may have had. In our house, when Kirsty came home with some new shoes, Eric would say, “How much did these cost then?”. “Oh,” would be her reply, “only £30.”. Then, turning to me, in a conspiring whisper would say behind her hand, “Each!”.

That's my girl.

18 boats moored

  1. Oh what a lovely idea for Mothering Sunday. Hope you two lovely ladies have a gorgeous day today...

  2. Awww you two do write alike. First you make me laugh, then you make me tear up a bit, then you make me smile. That last picture is wonderful too, though they are all great. OH also, I LOVE your wedding dress Kirsty's mum! I'm wishing hard that you will have ever so many more years. Happy Mother's Day!

  3. Ditto to what's been said above! Big commenting love to both of you!

    Happy Mother's Day,

  4. Happy Mothers' Day to your Mum, Kirsty. Thanks for the lovely pictures. Gosh you look just like her in that pic of her holding you!

    Also, love the shoes comment. My Mum has arthritis in her legs, so can't wear anything much beyond walking boots. To say she enjoys her shoe habit through me is a bit of an understatement... 'Now, Esme - are you sure you don't need another pair for the evening bit of the wedding. These are lovely and only £130!' Thanks Mum. xx

  5. Such a lovely post, thank you for sharing your relationship with us. I am a breast cancer survivor and yes you do get called brave and its mad really because all you are doing is surviving. My kids were 7 and 9 at the time and the youngest autistic, no way I was going anywhere!

  6. Happy Mother's Day. Well done on your first blog post Rosie! See you soon for a catch up. xxx

  7. Awww! Happy mother's day! Thank you for sharing.
    As my Grandmother aged, I found myself constantly also greedy for more time with her. If only she could see me graduate from high school, then college, then law school, then pass the bar exam (which she missed by a week), well then, that might be enough. We never stop wanting more, I suspect, and we will never be satisfied with all we get, and I think that's okay. I think that's life, and what makes us human. We want to share as much time and space as we are given with the people we love most.

  8. I loved all of the amazing photos and the beautiful love that they picture!

  9. Kirsty, I swear when I saw the top photo (before seeing the caption/reading any text) I thought it was you.

    Miss Rosie, thank you for sharing your words. You've made me smile and sniffle and giggle all at once. And I don't think it's just those with cancer who get greedy for time - so do those of us who love them. :) I hope you've had good days lately.

    Big hugs to both of you lovely ladies, and happy (UK) Mothers' Day! (Ours isn't until May.)

  10. Kirsty, your mum rocks! I can absolutely see where you got your wit and great storytelling abilities! Kirsty's mum, i wish you everything that you wish for yourself in beating your cancer into submission for as many days, weeks, months, years as possible.

  11. Thank you so much for writing this Rosie, it was wonderful. And the photos! God I do love a 70s/80s family snap. Love to you all xx

  12. Lovely post! I agree with the poster above who mentioned that people living with cancer aren't the only ones greedy for time, so are those who love them. It's a brilliant reminder to tell our loved ones how much we adore them every day!!!

  13. Thank you all so much for your kind comments - I know my mum appreciates them all (as do I!). You are all lovely xxx

  14. What a lovely post, and how much do you look like your mum!

  15. Only just getting around to commenting but this was such a lovely mother's day treat to read on Sunday. Thank you.

  16. I first read this post early on Sunday morning, I'd just woken up alone (husband was away) and hadn't yet turned the light on or even opened both eyes! I loved it, it made me laugh and cry and grin from ear to ear. And yes ok it made me open both eyes. I wanted to go and phone my Mum - which I didn't do because it was still a bit early.
    A large part of what stood out Rosie, was how proud you are of Kirsty's writing. I haven't told any of my family about my blog and this post made me want to tell my Mum and hopefully have her feel just as proud.
    As my Mum, two sisters and I do Race for Life for the 10th year this summer I'll be thinking of you. Continue to be greedy.
    Thank you both

  17. You warned me about the tissue. I was bad for not heading your advice. on the up side, I now know that my new mascara is waterproof. Thank you for writing this Kristy's mum, and enriching my day. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go call my mum & tell her I love her.

  18. This is amazing. Rosie, it's such a beautiful post. Kirsty, you have such a lovely mum!


Blog Archive