Sunday, May 12, 2013

Things I should have asked my Mum

Not to start on a downer, but today is the second Mother's Day without my Mum.  In the last few years she really wasn't aware what day it was any day of the year, so actually for the last 14 years Mother's Day has been all about me.  Don't get me wrong, I used to buy her a gift and wished her a happy day, but it would more than likely confuse her more.

Today I started thinking about what I would have liked to ask her when she was alive and aware. She was a fairly secretive woman and would occasionally come out with a little snippet of her past or some saying or advice which wouldn't be accompanied by an explanation. For example,

  • "Don't volunteer for anything"
  • "Bloody Harpers" (some mysterious family history there that I didn't find out till years later)
  • "You get on my wick!"
  • "Don't hang around like a wet week"
  • "When you get your period you will finally be able to swim" (apparently tampons have magical powers in the pool)
  • And the inexplicable "Don't put anything in your whatsie that you wouldn't put in your mouth first"(???)! 
  • Whenever a car would honk their horn outside she would say dryly "Can't come out tonight, the old man is home".  
  • "Weeee!" whenever a champagne/Spumante cork popped (which was more often than you would think!).
  • "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" (I say this all the time!)

So to commemorate Mother's Day, here is a list of some questions I would have liked to have asked my Mum:

  • What advice and stories did your Mum and Dad tell you?
  • What was your favourite toy as a child?
  • What was your favourite book?
  • Did your Mum read you stories?
  • Did you jump in your parents bed in the morning, like we did and like our kids do?
  • What was your first job?
  • Who was your first love?
  • How did you cope when your first child passed away?
These are questions I will never get to ask her (and some others that are too private to put here).  Why didn't I ask her when she was alive. Probably because I knew she would give me a flippant answer and brush me off because she had a "sick headache". Not one to get deep and meaningful, our Mum. And she was a bit scary in her heyday!

So the lesson here is make sure you talk to your Mum while she's still around.  Even if you don't get on, what's there to lose? Don't leave it till it's too late, she can't talk to you from the other side (though my brother begs to differ!).  But if she CAN hear - if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

Happy Mother's Day Mum!  Cheers!


  1. Oh, got me teary. I have a really complicated relationship with my mum but recently I'm discovering that the only person that thinks it's complicated is me.
    Thanks for sharing this. I'm going to ask my Ma these questions.
    Hope you had a lovely Mother's Day. I'm sure your mum's spirit was right there by you xxx

    1. I found now I'm a Mum of a teenager, we all think our Mums have a different agenda than us. That may be true but its usually for the good of the child. All of us gave her a hard time when we were young and I'm sure one day my daughter will come around too. Hopefully it's before I kick the bucket!

  2. Great list of questions. I do ask my Mum things now and this trip back in Scotland I saw something brand new, her baby book from 1939!! And found she was born weighing 9 and a half pounds, which is HUGE. It was so good to read that and I am so lucky to have her around and, so far, on the ball. She's not a wide open person at all, but I'm good at prying.

    1. And she probably really wants you to ask too, she probably still not used to you being an adult. Keep prying!


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