Books, Inspiration, Parenting

Mother’s Day: Live, Love, Lose and Love Again

May 9, 2014 | 25 Comments

I was determined to make my Mother’s Day post this year a happy one, but I see already that I’m going to fail miserably. Generally I tend to get weepy and think about how we lost my Mom, but I wanted this year to focus on the positives, all the things I learnt from her and all the beautiful privileges I get to enjoy as a new(ish) mother myself.

photoIt’s a funny story but a few years before my Mom even got sick, I was living in the UK and I heard about this book called The Mother’s Book. More of a journal than a book, it’s a space for your mother to write down her thoughts on what her childhood was like, her memories of you as a child and her hopes and dreams. In this digital era we tend to record our lives via social media but I really liked the idea of a hard copy journal like this for my Mum to write in.

I guess fate was laughing when I wrote the inscription at the front, just two years before she died:

“Mom, this is a very special book, from me to you. I thought it would be fun for you to write things down and even more fun for me to read them! So TAKE YOUR TIME (fate really was laughing) and jot down those memories. Know that I love you so, xxx Belinda”

So she did start writing them down, because she was like that, she was conscientious and loving and everything a mother should be. She answered questions like: “What were your first pets’ names?” (Socks the Cat and Rusty the Labrador), “What was your favourite subject at school? (Maths – um, like are we even related?!) and whether she had a crush on a particular singer or band (Yes, Cliff Richard).

She answered serious questions and fun questions, questions on food and fashion and what her bedroom looked like as a kid, things I would never have thought to ask her about, things I would never have known. And she also answered harder questions, questions on fear and hopes and love. I haven’t read the whole book yet, I get too sad, I see her handwriting or hear her voice in my head or read an answer and I’ll cry for hours. So this Mother’s Day I just dipped in and wanted to share a few of her answers with you, in the hope that they will make your Mother’s Day special, whether you’re celebrating your own mother or being a mother yourself.

photo 2

I love this one. Because all the qualities she learned from her parents are ones I like to think I learned from her. I’m brutally honest (maybe sometimes too honest?), and incredibly dependable (um, if I say so myself;). In fact, I even remember my Dad saying in his speech at my wedding that if Belinda says she will do something, you know that she will ALWAYS do it. And I’m realising that this is kind of rare. Am I caring? I try to be, but I need to work on this one a little more. Am I moral? Yes. And these four qualities are all ones I’m trying to instill in my kids too.

She answered about half the questions and then she got sick. And this is when the tears really start flowing. Because even though she could hardly hold a pen anymore, she still tried to answer them for me. She couldn’t write straight and it must have been so hard but she loved me so much that she CARRIED ON. That’s what love is. And that’s what mothers do. They may be hurting inside and out but they keep going, they keep trying, they never stop.

photo 1

When I read this one I cry my eyes out, but it also makes me smile. Because I took your advice Mom. It may have taken me 10 years to get here but I’m writing for a living, I’m doing something I love. I just wish you were here to see it.

My aunt June took the time to sit with my Mom during some of her final weeks of illness and asked her the remaining questions and filled many more in, something I’ll be forever grateful for. Mom was too weak to talk a lot of the time, let alone write. But I have these memories of her now, a little part of her and this book is one of the most precious possessions I own.

So although I’ve had a little (big) weep, on Mother’s Day this year, I want to be able to celebrate and laugh and remember the past but also plan for the future. I want to think of my role as a mother and the lessons that I will teach to my kids, which they in turn will pass on to theirs. That’s all we can do in the end, isn’t it? Live, love, lose and love again.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you – I hope Sunday is special, restful and filled with love.

xxx

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25 Comments

  • Reply Nicky May 9, 2014 at 6:40 am

    Oh my word, I really shouldn’t have read this as I arrived at work. Mascara is now streaming down the cheeks! How amazing is that book. Too special. Sending big hugs x

  • Reply Robyn May 9, 2014 at 8:43 am

    This is so special. I know it hurts, but what an absolutely beautiful treasure you have from your mom. xxx

  • Reply Jenny Kroon May 9, 2014 at 9:24 am

    What a beautiful book of memories (and advice) to have. I would love to buy that book – please send me the publisher or where I can get it. Bea, your Mom was sooo special and I feel for your loss (and ours in Grahamstown). She will never be forgotten here.
    Happy Mothers Day to you – you are a great Mom.

  • Reply Catherine May 9, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Beautiful x

  • Reply Heather May 9, 2014 at 11:25 am

    That is so special.

  • Reply Belinda Mountain May 9, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks for all the wonderful comments everyone – so appreciated. xxx

  • Reply Stephanie May 9, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    So sorry about ur mom 🙁 this was really beautiful writen

  • Reply Ailsa Porter May 9, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    So wish we could get this book – what a treasure for all our children! (((HUGS)))

  • Reply Belinda Mountain May 10, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Hi guys, I’ve looked and looked but don’t think you can get this book in SA:( Will keep a lookout though…

  • Reply Robs Bennett May 11, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Beautiful Bee xxx

  • Reply Carrie May 11, 2014 at 11:03 am

    What a great mother you all had. She would be so proud of the mother that you have become. Xxx

  • Reply Robyn May 12, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Shew what a special book to have from your Mum xx

  • Reply robynne May 15, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    beautiful piece B, your pain of loss highlights what i too often take for granted, thank you for sharing, your writing is making a mark on its readers, x

  • Reply Tracy Mackenzie May 20, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Sho, Bee! I have had a good drizz – thank you for sharing these special moments/memories/emotions. Heartfelt hugs xxx

  • Reply Belinda Mountain May 20, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks everyone for your kind comments and love, xxx

  • Reply Connecting with Belinda | BlogShareConect June 2, 2014 at 7:57 am

    […] I can articulate my thoughts properly. Your favourite post? (one that you have made) This recent Mother’s Day post was very special to me: What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday? A walk outdoors […]

  • Reply A Battle of Wills - Making Mountains June 8, 2014 at 6:53 am

    […] you were asking about where to get mother/daughter/son journals similar to the one I mentioned in this post. A lovely friend shared this website – so take a peek if you’re interested (there are some […]

  • Reply Sula June 15, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    What a beautiful and moving piece. Wish I could get my hands on a book like that too, if I’m not mistaken someone I knew once found a similar one for fathers in a Christian bookstore but don’t know which one.

  • Reply 10 Weekend Links - Making Mountains November 23, 2014 at 10:29 am

    […] this post about the journal I bought my Mom, which she managed to write in before she passed away? I know we […]

  • Reply femmegypsy May 11, 2015 at 7:32 am

    I am sitting here at my computer crying silently. This is SO unbelievably special! X

  • Reply Tina Pieterse May 9, 2016 at 11:46 am

    I need that book!!!!! I share your feelings I am also Motherless on Mothers Day but tried to share in the joy this year

  • Reply Bits April 21, 2017 at 9:53 am

    I don’t know why I read this when I was at work, but I did, and luckily I was sitting in a quiet room on my own, because I shed a tear with you.

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