As a mum, when you no longer have your mum, you miss out on so much more than you realise.
I’ve been a motherless daughter for many years now.
My Mum died when she was 56. I was old enough to be an adult but not old enough to have an adult relationship with her. I think she’d like the ‘me’ I am now, more than the one she knew. Still…
There are many things you miss out on as a motherless daughter.
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Mother’s Day for example is a weird kind of day, because as a mum it’s all about your kids celebrating you as a mum, but you can’t celebrate having a mum. My Dad, bless him, forgets most major events, birthdays, Christmases but he always remembers to give my sister and I a call on Mother’s Day.
But there are many things that just sneak up and remind you what you’re missing. I recently spent a lovely and long overdue time with my sister and her family in Brisbane. She’s my big sister, and over many years and many bottles of wine we’ve analysed the life and death of our complex mother many times over.
You can’t be victims when you’ve lost a parent because the rest of your life is a long time to sulk.
So we don’t talk about ourselves or our children and our loss, but we do like talking about our mum.
- This Mother’s Day give yourself the gift of good health
- 10 amazing lessons my Mum has taught me about life
Our mum used to love cooking. We lived in different cities, but if I needed to know how to make something, I would call Mum. “Mum, I’m trying to make a lasagna, how do I make a cheese sauce?” “Mum, what cut of meat should I buy for a casserole?” “Mum, how do I get the fat off the top of the pan when I’m making a gravy? And what do you put in your gravy?”
Mum would always sigh a little as if “how do you girls not know how to make gravy?” but then she’d tell me as I scribbled her recipe on a piece of scrap paper I’d promptly lose.
But one of the casualties of losing your mum is you lose that rich knowledge about how to do stuff that parents are supposed to pass down to their kids so you can pass it on to yours.
I was poaching an egg while I was staying at my sisters. “Don’t you put vinegar in your water when you’re poaching eggs?” she asked me. I’d never heard of such a thing. “It keeps the egg whites together. I always use white vinegar because it doesn’t discolour the eggs or taint them too much.”
Since that moment, I’ve always added vinegar to the water I poach my eggs in. And they’re bloody perfect.
While I was there, my sister was roasting a lamb. She asked me “how do you make your gravy?” “I usually use a mix and add some bits to it,” I admitted. “Me too,” she said. “Mum always made a good gravy.”
When you’ve lost your mum, it’s not just her company that you miss.
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