Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Bringing it all back home


It’s the strangest thing, but I seem to be thinking about my mum all the time lately. She died quite suddenly more than two decades ago and although of course, she is always there in the back of my mind, it'd been a while since a memory pierced my heart and took my breath away, in a way that happened all the time in the early years.

Anyone who has suffered loss of any kind will I’m sure recognise that description.

But lately the oddest things have brought her into my mind and I’ve had to brace myself against waves of sadness that she’s no longer here.

I wasn’t sure why this kept happening. There's no obvious trigger or anniversary. No one has especially reminded me of her, or said anything that sparked a particular memory. The other period of my life when I experienced this feeling most keenly was when I became a mother myself for the first time. It seemed painfully unfair that I couldn’t talk to the person who would understand it all best.

I was thinking about all this the other night and I realised that I’m living in a time of change right now, just as when I became a mum. For the first time in my life, I’m spending more of my work time writing than on any of the bread and butter journalism jobs I’ve held over the years. This, obviously, is deeply satisfying and I’m very excited about the launch of my first novel in May, Dark Ride. I’m meeting new people through my writing life all the time lately and have a very strong feeling of having ‘come home’. I understand that expression about being in one’s element in a way I never previously did.

So why do I keep thinking about my mum just now?

I wonder whether change, even good change, shakes things up in our lives, dislodging all the sediment and stuff we don’t always address. Maybe the events that shape who are to come to the surface during these periods of our life.

I had only just left university when she died and still didn't really know what I wanted to do at that stage. Getting published wasn't something we’d ever particularly discussed but I know that if she was alive today, she’d be proud of me and boring everyone silly about the book. I’m sorry she never got to do that, but even more so that she never got to meet the most important people in my life; my husband and children.

Maybe this is her way of living on and cheering me from the sidelines.

20 comments:

Charmaine Clancy said...

It's lovely you can gain motivation and support from memories of your mum. It's quite natural for you to feel a little sad about not having her to see your accomplishments, of course she would be proud, that's what mums are for.

Very sweet post :-)

Helen Black said...

When I had my first book published a lot of friends and family said, 'your Dad would be so proud.'

And he would have been. He bloody loved reading and would have understood the time and energy that goes into making them.

I still feel sad every time I have new one out that he doesn't know...then again maybe he does.
HBx

Anonymous said...

Yes, my mum would have loved the fact i was writing, too - she was a voracious reader and wrote stories for us when we were kids.

I guess any big change in your life is going to make you think about the people closest to you, Caroline, (whether they are still with us, or not) and fulfilling a dream is a big change.

No doubt she's somewhere close in spirit, cheering you on and incredibly proud.

Sam

Caroline Green said...

Thanks everyone. :) :)

Geraldine Ryan said...

Very touching post, Caroline.

Debs Riccio said...

This brought a tear to my eye, Caroline. My mum and I were never close but I thought we had years to get that way after I became a mother and it's such a shock when you it's over before it's begun. And I think you're right, as we get older and things start to change, for better or worse, we are strongly aware of where we came from and how people, family have helped shaped who we're finally becoming. I have no idea what my mum would say if she knew I was still writing, probably "stop imagining things and wake up to reality" - she was never a great source of encouragement!

Derek said...

It's a touching post, Caroline. Maybe it's the stability in your life now that gives you the clarity to experience whatever's going on beneath the surface.

Karen said...

Lovely post. I feel the same way about my gran who I was very close too, and it happens more frequently when things are happening - good or bad :o)

Caroline Green said...

Thank you everyone. Had some good news just now re another writing project so feels like the post had extra meaning for me today.

Lindsay said...

I think you are right, and we often revive memories of those we loved, during periods of transition, and of course as well as when there is something to celebrate! Somehow, I think those we have lost do somehow know of our triumphs. (My own mother keeps saying to me, 'I can't die until you're published.' She's almost 90 and is getting worried about hanging on...)

sonia said...

Beautiful post.I deeply missed my parents when my children were born. I think Derek may have a point. Loss isn't a one off - it reverberates.

Luisa said...

Thanks for this wonderful post, Caroline. :)

Anna May said...

Hello Caroline,
I think it's about maturity. When my adored Mum died I was terrified that I would never get through life with out her. Over time I have grown and now I miss her most when good things are happening because I want so much to share them with her. The bad stuff I am able to deal with on my own.

Anna May x

Caroline Green said...

Thanks so much everyone :) :)

Lindsay, here are some good luck vibes that it happens for you.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

My mother has been dead 17 years this April and yes those heart piercing moments ease with time. Here's what I think is happening to you; there is no one on this earth that can give you a sense of 'well done' quite like a mother can. I miss my mother's joy in all my achievements because she truly meant it without a hint of envy or rancour. It is true honest to goodness love and support that you neededn't second guess.

Enjoy your success as she will no doubt be rooting for you!

Caroline Green said...

Thank you MOB...lovely words.

And meant to say, Debs, sorry that yours wasn't one to encourage. bet she'd still be proud of you though. Would be mad not to be.

suzy doodling said...

A lovely post, and great blog. I'd like to add you to my list for a stylish blog award. I had mine from Teresa Ashby. No obligations. Thank you.

Adrian Reynolds said...

With my dad dying last year, I notice I very much have a different take on things. In many ways I feel like I've stepped out of his shadow and grown up -- though he cast no shadow, and I'm in my mid forties. The sense is of finding him in me, and honouring that presence. Where I turned to him, I now have myself to rely on. I'm taking bigger risks, which is something he did, and like him am prepared to live with the consequences.

Caroline Green said...

Thanks Suzy and Adrian.

Adrian, I think that would have made him proud, hearing you say that x

Jane said...

lovely post caroline..there's nothing like a mother's love..nothing on earth