To my mum, Corona was a fizzy drink with a deposit on the glass bottle, sometimes delivered with the groceries in pre-supermarket days.
As you might have guessed, Mum is not here to treat or talk to on Mother’s Day (or any other day). I know I’m not alone in feeling, most years, that the currently motherless are left out in the general celebrations.
This year things are different for everyone. People might be waving to each other from behind glass. I find myself feeling more sorry for others – though I would still be glad to talk to mum on the phone or wave to her from afar if that was all that was available.
I wouldn’t have been able to give her a posy like this one: I picked them from my garden for a neighbour’s birthday. Mum loved wild flowers but she had developed some allergic reactions.
My promise to Mum was that we would plant her grave with primroses and forget-me-nots.
Regularly we meet up with Dad there and snip around the delicate flowers – tending the grave isn’t necessary but burial ground maintenance is by strimmer and that doesn’t suit.
The last time we were there, we had already become wary of hugging for fear of passing something on. It has taken us years to be so free with each other as to offer a hug and a kiss. Will it ever feel normal again?
Dad brought bunches of daffodils in bud. The ones from the time before were in full bloom and he gave them to me to bring home. It felt a little odd to have flowers from mum’s grave on the windowsill but I still loved them.
I tried compressing my feelings into a haiku:
take back the sunshine
buds left behind will open
unseen on the hill
This week Dad went to Mum’s grave alone. Again the flowers he’d left the time before were in full bloom. He took them back to the flat where there is no mum, and fewer of the usual distractions: no football, which they both loved, on TV. No cricket. No rugby. No social gatherings. He’s listening to music and finding other things to do.
And we can still talk every day.
However you are managing: I hope you are!