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Life Chez Dee Episode #108: This Mum's Day

Today is Mother’s Day. Normally I’m awakened by the boys coming into our bedroom to wake me and wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. Today I woke early, particularly early in fact, and not feeling able to nod off again, I just got up.

I do actually quite like it when it’s quiet downstairs, and whilst the boys were still snoozing I got on with all sorts of chores … feeding the cats, letting them out, cleaning the litter, putting a washer load on, emptying the dryer and folding the clothes, emptying the dishwasher, washing the dishes which were piled up as they wouldn’t fit in the dishwasher last night, dried said dishes and put them all away, chopped all the veg ready for tonight’s tea, boiled some eggs for sandwiches for lunch, chopped the pineapple which was sitting staring at me ….. then I sat down with a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea.

I sat and thought about the boys … all the boys. I thought about how I was getting on with all my jobs whilst they were in the land of nod … just what a mum does really, day in day out. I thought about Mother’s Day and how it really isn’t about the cards and the presents, but how lucky I feel to be the mum of three wonderful boys. Today, is a hard day; a day which I face year after year with a whole host of emotions.

From the first time I became a mother, I was bursting with so much love and pride, and every year I think what a privilege it is to be a mum, to love as a mum and to be loved in return, and how immensely proud I am of all three of my boys.

Not a day goes by that I’m not fit to burst with some anecdote which has made me smile or laugh; or some achievement that has made me so proud I want to tell the world about it; not a day goes by that I don’t want to talk about my children … all my children.

From the moment they were born I received cards, clumsily made cards covered with egg boxes, string, and so much glue the card warped under its wetness, and so much glitter that I was hoovering it up for weeks on end. Now the cards are precision made with much thought and detail … and always homemade, which I find totally adorable still.

I go into Mother’s Day really not knowing how I’m going to feel, as the love for all my children bursts through in so many ways. Hugs, kisses, cuddles, smiles … and some banter thrown in for good measure, and there will be tears too, as this is how it is now.

I miss Edward. I miss Edward so desperately it hurts. I’m writing this again with the tears welling up in my eyes, ready to overflow and pour down my face. I sit and think about Edward, and my heart is so full of love, and the memories are so many.

I’ve felt emotions building today, as I’ve been looking through my phone for a picture of me and Edward to send to The Good Grief Trust as they’re creating a Mother’s Day montage of pictures. I don’t know which to choose, there are so many beautiful photos … some of which I’ve shared publicly on many an occasion, and some I’ve kept for myself … just me and my boy. I choose a lovely photo which was taken on one of our many holidays in Cornwall. I think I've sent it through too late, so it doesn't really matter which one I chose now.

Oliver is first up. Says hello to me and then disappears off somewhere. I carry on eating my cereal. Justin eventually stirs, opens the garage for Oliver, and he presents me with a lovely bouquet of flowers and a lovely card which he made at school … he hopes I have the best Mother’s Day Ever! He offers to make me a cup of tea and then disappears off again.

Number 1 son then emerges bleary eyed (it’s been a 3am bed for him again!) Some beautiful tulips, and a bottle of prosecco … no he’s not old enough (quite) yet to buy this, but he went to the shop with Justin. Chocolates weren’t an option for him to buy as I’ve given them up for Lent! And chocolates were never the present for William to bag anyway, as it was always Edward who chose to give me chocolates … so that he could eat them with me! Again William had made me a beautiful card, all in pen and ink, precision drawn flowers, and the message inside lovely, even if it were a little slapdash being stuck in on lined paper from an exercise book (as the ink pen he’d used had smudged on the shiny card). I still have all the cards, which all the boys have ever made me, and will treasure them forever.

William disappeared back up to his room to get on with some work, and probably much gaming and watching of youtube! I called round to see my mum with some flowers and a fresh lemon cake which I’d made for her. Having needed to shield since Day 1, I've only managed brief doorstep chats for so long now they're starting to feel like the norm. I chatted to her and dad on the doorstep for a few minutes, before they got too cold standing on the doorstep, and we were even colder standing outside, so we went home. Not long had we got back and Justin’s mum turned up. We’d invited her for lunch (she’s in our bubble). I’d laid out a selection of sandwiches and cakes and it was all really lovely. In fact I needn’t have baked, since she turned up with a bakewell tart she’d made us … so that’s puddings sorted for a few days now.

I usually go and visit Edward on Mother’s Day, but the weather turned really nasty in the afternoon, and I decided not to go. I wanted to sit with Edward, and I wanted to tidy his grave (it’s bound to be in a state, as with all the bad weather we've had, it will have taken a battering), but I decided to wait until the weather improved next week when it would be better to do both. Edward won’t mind I’m sure, although I’m rather disappointed, but then I think that Edward is with me anyway today, as he is every day … I know he is … and he’s even sent me some rain!

I think about how different it will be again next year. William will be away at University, although I’m sure he’ll come home for a visit for Mother’s Day. Indeed he told me that next year, he’ll probably leave buying me some flowers until on the day and he’ll call and get them en route! We laughed with Justin asking if I’d end up with 6 bunches of petrol station flowers instead of a nice bouquet.

This afternoon, Justin has made some shelves for Oliver’s bedroom, and I’ve been faffing putting some of his stuff onto them. I’m now writing this, sewing cub badges on Oliver’s uniform, getting tea ready and waiting to give William a haircut. This afternoon I’ve been doing what mums do, and with the exception of the cards and presents, it was an ordinary kind of day, but I love my ordinary days, with my family, being a mum.

I think about all those who find this such a difficult day. Those who can't be with their mums, those who have lost their mums, those who have lost children, those who aren't able to have children, those who are are mums but are not related by blood, for whatever reason. You are thought about, and not alone, on this very emotive day. To those who have messaged me, thank you. To remember Edward, and to think of both him, and me, is really special and it means a great deal to me.

My heart is bursting with love, even with the great scar which runs through its very core. I love being a mum, always have, always will, and my love for all my children will be forever.

by Elizabeth Dee

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