If I’m going to write about my past; unpick the reasons why I drank so much for so long; then my mum is going to be the leading lady – Judy Garland to my Liza Minnelli, cast as an unpredictable drunken purveyor of chaos and she’s not going to look good frankly. I feel bad about this. My mum is still alive, about to celebrate her 81st birthday and I love her dearly. I want to share the good stuff more than the bad right now. Maybe the bad will just appear in passing, maybe not at all – I don’t really have a plan for this other than writing this right now. So here are 5 of the reasons I’m grateful to have my mum in my life today.
My mum is great company. She can make any situation fun; find the humour, taking the proverbial out of herself or others when gleefully recounting a story. Prone to exaggeration we’re never quite sure how much is true. The more we laugh the more she embellishes it.
My mum is great in a crisis. Through my divorce she managed to be emotionally supportive of me; naming my unhappiness when I couldn’t myself and encouraging me to do what was right for me; whilst being kind and respectful to my ex and being there for our girls.
My mum is a wonderful granny. When the girls were little she came to stay every month so we could have a night out together and a lie in. She would go to the park, bake, play and cuddle whilst we slept off our hangovers! Now the girls are young adults they still love to spend time with her. Knowing they have her to turn to if they don’t want to come to me is a big comfort.
My mum is my No 1 supporter. I remember getting a rosette at a horse show and my mum was cheering so much the guy handing them out commented “I see you’ve brought your fan club”. She listens to my moans and groans, my hopes and dreams; encouraging and enthusing me. When we were younger she used to say ‘Aim for the stars, if you don’t reach them you might still get the moon’.
My mum has been sober for 8 years now. She moved closer to me 9 years ago just as her health started to deteriorate. Alcoholic cardiomyopathy misdiagnosed as asthma for a long time. When I ask her why she stopped she simply says ‘I realised it was going to kill me’. She did it on her own, quietly, no fuss. I’m in awe. Sobriety has definitely brought her more years in her life but also more life in her years. She’s learnt to paint and crochet; and had 4 celebrations for her 80th birthday last year with family and friends. She’s supportive of my efforts, without judging or criticising me. She is my inspiration.
Thank you mum for all that you are and all that you do – I love you💖.