Saturday, 7 January 2017

The Little Things

On this day, last year, I shared a very special meal with the most important woman in my life. My lovely mum, of course.

It wasn't in a fancy-schmanzy restaurant with bubbles and fawning waiters.  We weren't dressed up to the nines, knocking back the wine (our favourite tipple).  It was on the side of her bed at her bedside cabinet, in the cosiness of her bedroom, with her tucking into fish and chips that my husband had prepared.  I remember he'd over-cooked the criss-cross chips as (for obvious reasons) life was a little chaotic at the time but my mum wolfed them down like a woman possessed declaring that she was starving!  We laughed and joked and, for a while, I let myself believe that all would be well in the world.

Just that afternoon she'd been visited by an acupuncturist who seemed to have worked her magic and prior to that we'd been giggling with my sister as we tested our mum on her times tables.  Boy, was she good at those!  Years of war-time schooling that drummed them into you were to be thanked for that.

After her meal, she said she wanted a wash.  I wasn't to know but this was to be the last time I would pamper and preen her - a full wash from the sink as she perched on the loo seat, legs and arms moisturised with new smellies she'd received for Christmas, a clean nightie and then back into bed where she cheekily 'ordered' cheese and biscuits because she was still 'starving'!

The next day, quite calmly, she called us all in to say her goodbyes.  I wouldn't have thought it possible for someone to be so clear-headed about the fact that it was time to leave the world unless I'd witnessed it for myself.  She knew - it was as simple as that - and she wanted to make sure that she'd said what she needed to.

Heart-breakingly sad but, at the same time, so lovely when you think of how many people don't get the chance to plan and say their farewells and then leave this world from the comfort of their own bed surrounded by love.

I guess the point of this piece - other than to honour and remember my mum - is to say take the time to do little things with those you love because you just never know if it's going to be your last chance.

I treasure that evening with my mum.  It will be etched in my heart forever and tonight I'll raise a glass to her and I know that she'll remember why I'm doing it.