Monday, 28 April 2008

My Mother


This week, David Mcmahon  in his Weekend Wandering asked us "Who was the most important person in our childhood?"

Without question I can say that my mother was the most important person in my childhood.
I was born slap bang in the middle of the Second World War, in our living room, where my mother had a bed, so that she could get under the table in case of an air raid. Thankfully there were no air raids while I was being delivered, as I think my mum would have had severe problems getting under the table anyway. Nurse Wright, who was the mid wife, had put on a nice clean apron and as I was born, I splattered her with my first poo! She exclaimed , "Well out of  all the babies I have delivered over the years, none have done that to me before!" 
We lived in a small industrial town for my early years in Lancashire, which is now called Cheshire! I seem to have a problem with counties and kingdoms changing names!

By the time I could remember anything, the war was over but food rationing was still in force and I can definitely remember us queueing for every item in the shops and also handing in the ration books, and the coupons would be taken out. I never went hungry as my mum used to make delicious omlettes out of egg powder sent over by the Americans. We used to have salad stuff from out of the garden and fruit because by now we were living in a cottage on the edge of the town, with a lovely garden and fields all around us. There was always bread and milk but by todays standards, we had very plain food and not many sweets.

I really loved my Mum and I know that she did her best for my younger brother and me. She taught me to sew and knit and helped me with reading and spelling. She could make a really tasty meal out of nothing! She played the piano fairly well and I loved all the pieces she played, particularly her Chopin and a piece of music that had me spell bound called "Rustle of Spring" by Sinding. I used to ask her to play it over and over again. If I hear the music now, it brings a lump into my throat.

You might think that my dad was away fighting or that he was not living with us, but he was........ he was there. Because he had a Ph.D, he was excused fighting or going down the mines, but he was in the Home Guard and had to guard  Runcorn Bridge with a rifle.
However, my Dad was a scientist and was not very good with children. He seemed to be in a world of his own and was very remote. I did not have a good relationship with him, but will leave that story for another time.

For some reason I was an insecure child, and was forever worrying that some thing would happen to my mother. My brother was treated exactly the same as me, but he didn't have any of these worries, so I'm wondering whether I inherited a worrying gene or something! My mother was the same! Some nights I crept out of bed to see if her bag and coat and shoes were still there, just in case she had left. I'm afraid that she did sometimes threaten us with that, as she probably had her hands full with all the problems there were in that particular era. Anyway, I loved her in spite of "the threat" when we were naughty. Children in those days were treated so differently and what we would think of as child abuse today, was quite common then! I thought of it as normal.
You can see from my baby picture that I am looking worried even then!!!!!!!

There were other people who were important to me during my childhood, but Mum was the person I loved most. My own children loved her to bits and I'm sure she lives on in all of us.
I have many of her things scattered about my house and quite often on Mother's Day, I buy a little plant or something to remember her by. I will always remember her Birthday, her Wedding Anniversary and the date she died.





30 comments:

Milla said...

that was very touching indeed, MM, really lovely. Brought a tear to the eye. I have the worry gene too, but fear I am too lazy to get up in the middle of the night to check if her coat and bag were gone (so sad!!) and the buying of little things for her still - a very dear post.

Debra in France said...

Maggie that was lovely. I feel really choked up now thinking of my own mum who died 4 years ago. It is lovely to read a bit more about you, and to see such a wonderful photo.

My dad (who I adore) used to threaten us 4 kids with 'the childrens home' when we were playing up. He would pick up the phone and say that he had 4 very naughty children and could they come and collect them at 4pm. We would be jumping around trying to get the phone off him. We would all be on best behviour for the rest of the day and at 3.30 he would phone 'the childrens home' and cancel the colelction!! We joke that he has scared us all for life, but it worked. Can you imagine what the do-gooders would say about that these days!

willow said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mother. And lovely photo!

Thanks for your visit to my place.

Mignon said...

MM- Love your story. I lost my Mom in 1985. But before she left for the hospital she made a cake and put it in the freezer. She knew she might not be back. I guess. But dad brought it out and told us. It's crushing just remembering it. She use to give us the same threat. I remember pulling her cloths out of her suitcase as fast as she was putting them in. Screaming and crying No no no! I'll be better I promise! I remember the fear in my throat, I could barley speak. I would rather get a beating!

Mrs. Fox said...

Thank you so much for sharing. My mom and I didn't always get along so well in my teens (not unusual) but we have become very close in recent years and I am forever amazed and amused when I find myself saying or doing things that are quintessentially her.

I am sorry to learn of your son-in-laws illness. I will add him to my prayers. It never rains but it pours.

Bina said...

What a wonderful picture, and ya know, you DO look worried!

Great story. Thanks so much for sharing. Wow, born at home, squirting poop. I wonder how many people can say THAT! LOL

Granny Smith said...

I love hearing about your childhood. It was so different from mine although I, too, had a mother I adored. I, too, seem to have that worry gene, and also seem hard-wired for guilt over things undone or, in retrospect, done badly.

The photo is lovely. Worried or not, you were a beautiful baby.

imac said...

Beauitful Post, I lost my Mother 2yrs ago.

Very Touching.

Thanks for visiting my blog and your kind comments.

Dusty Spider said...

what a lovely tribute to your Mum. Flick x

Maggie May said...

Milla ........thats a lovely comment.... thank you!

Debra ..... sorry I brought back your own grief. the things your Dad said, I hear my son saying similar to the girls. Seems harmless enough really.They seem to realize its not going to happen!

willow ...was good of you to drop by & your comment is much valued.

mignon......... thanks for sharing a bit about you too. I think much of the things that tired & weary parents threatened, was not meant to hurt the way it did. I am always careful not to tell a child I will abandon them but probably say something else unwittingly.

Mrs Fox ....... its good to see you up & about again.
It is quite alarming when we find ourselves just like our parents. Even if we love them, we don't really want to be like them!

Bina ....... most babies were born at home in those days, course the death rate must have been higher.
Your comment made me laugh!

Granny smith..........Its good to have so many vivid memories & being in England during the aftermath of the War WAS very different from America I expect.

imac ....... thanks for your comments. It is always sad to lose a Mum. Mine died 7 years ago.

Flick ....... thanks for dropping by!

Working mum said...

Lovely post. I only started to really appreciate my mum when I became a mum myself. I now realise what she did for us. I let her know regularly what she means to me while I still have the opportunity.

girl with the mask said...

That was a lovely post, Maggie May. I just cannot bear to think about what I'll be like when my mama is no longer here...

Liz said...

What wonderful memories.

Suburbia said...

That was so lovely to read. Mums are so special. You look so sweet in the photo

Grit said...

thank you for a touching post.i promise not to threaten shark squirrel and tiger that i'm leaving to live in a field.

and i miss my mom now, too.

mrsnesbitt said...

Lovely.
I know the my mum was the most important person..........just trying to get the words sorted.
Dxxxx

the mother of this lot said...

Oh Maggie, what a lovely post! She sounds very special. Actually, she sounds very like you.

indicaspecies said...

Reached here from David's Authorblog.

A very nice recount, I remembered my mother who died quite a few years back. To me though, both father and mother were equally important.

Maggie May said...

Working mum ... yes, you really appreciate a mum when you become one yourself!

Girl with a mask .... you are young..... try not to think about it before the time comes!

Liz & Surburbia ........ Thanks for lovely comments.

Grit ..... no don't tell them that! Mind you they have each other!

Mrs Nesbitt .......Thanks for letting me know how important YOUR Mum was to you, too.

Jackie ... you are too kind!

Indicaspecies ....thanks for dropping by! Both Mum & Dad loved equally is the most desired & the most normal out come. I'm pleased you had that.

Omykiss said...

I remember the ration too .. we had some kind of coupon that we used to buy certain items ... I don't clearly which things were on the ration.

My mum and dad were both conscripted .. my father was in Burma and my mum in Derby ... it must have been so hard. They married just after the war .. I'm a baby boomer ....

I so wish that all the so-called leaders never lead us in to another war ... there has to be a better way ... I do so hope so ....

david mcmahon said...

I was very close to my mother, so I totally empathise with you.

CrazyCath said...

A very touching walk down memory lane. A great tribute to your mum and your relationship with her.

Wonderful post again!

MarmiteToasty said...

Beautiful, just beautiful......

x

Mean Mom said...

I still think the world of my mother and I can't bear to think of life without her, to be honest. Your post was lovely. You are right about your baby photo. You look as if you already have the world's problems on your shoulders!

I am surprised when I realise that I never actually threatened to leave my children, and husband, really. I thought about it often enough, but it hardly seemed worth the effort, when I knew that I would only get to the bottom of the road, before I came back again! Sometimes, trying to look after a family is just overwhelming, and things burst out of your mouth, which shouldn't. We are not perfect mothers and we do not have perfect children. The majority of us just strive to do the best that we can.

Sandi McBride said...

Even though Mama has been gone for five years, she's still here...in how I cook, how I talk, how I look...I'm sure each and every action you take is somehow influenced by your mother...it was the love of your mother that came through so poignantly and I enjoyed your love of your mother...it came through loud and clear...oh and David sent me.
Sandi

Maggie May said...

Omykiss.......... so you were one of the baby boomers!
Heaven help us if there was another World War, as it would be very different from the last one. Don't let's even think about it!

Thanks, David!

Crazy Cath .... thanks for the lovely comment. Hope your wrist is better.

Marmite toasty .......... Good to see you up & about again. LOVED your post! Well worth a read! Thanks for your lovely comment.

Mean mom ........ I do have plenty of baby photos that showed me smiling & laughing!

Sandi mcbride ....... Thanks for popping over.It's good to see you & thanks for the compliment.

Carolyn said...

Lovely post about your dear Mum. David's recognition was well deserved!

Hope your family is well...

San said...

Maggie, that is very beautiful. You touched a chord in me when you spoke of the way you always worried that your mother would disappear. I used to worry that something would happen to my own mother. And she once told me that when she was a kid, she had the same worry. Maybe it's in the DNA, although not everyone inherits it--like your brother.

Maggie May said...

Carolyn ... thanks for your king comment.

San ......... I think that you are right, that it must be an inherited fear.Thanks for your helpful comment.

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Dear Maggie, have just read your loving and lovely 'remembrance of things past'. I was completely absorbed by it, and can empathise with many of the things you said. How right you are that children were treated quite differently then. You do look a worried baby! But a wonderful post and photo. Love M xx