I remember this picture like it was yesterday. My mother and I wore dark blue velvet. I see my hand touching hers, a reassurance of safety despite the look of panic on my face.
My mother is tiny. If she weighs ninety pounds, it's a miracle. You worry that a brisk wind will lift her away. But she is the strongest woman I know.
She married my father and gave birth to me eleven months later and from then on it was one after the other until she was finished, with seven children. She says all the time that she wanted every single one of us whether we were planned or a surprise. I know she gave up dreams because of us. I know this from things she's said over the years or a look in her eyes. But I believe she doesn't regret it for one minute.
She has a beautiful singing voice and she sang often when we were young. But, after a time the singing stopped and I always wondered why. I think we were good kids for the most part (at least that's what she says now) but I'm sure we contributed to the sudden lack of music in her life. Seven children can very easily take away free time for pleasures. I know that I for one have disappointed at times and worried her many times. But through it all I always knew that after the turmoil died down, there she would be, standing strong and waiting to take on the next problem. Still the mother who saw me as her daughter, no matter what.
She comes from a strong, stoic family and she reminds me of her father in her strength and her mother in her wisdom. She always has a remedy for when you don't feel well and she has the proverbial "green-thumb" and can grow anything, anywhere. I've watched her strength during the loss of her parents, brothers and sisters, her refusal to let her grief intrude in her effort to support others. I've watched her hold her grand-children and great grand-children, singing the same songs to them that she sang to me.
I have many reasons to love and admire my mother. Most of all it's because....she's mine. Happy Mothers Day Mum.