My Mother’s Daughter

A difficult relationship....

Dear Mum,

Do you remember when we used to go on intense shopping trips together during the sales? My siblings never wanted to go as they knew we’d be there for hours but for me that was the best way to spend an afternoon. It was even better when my feet got bigger as I could just wear all your shoes!! We even bought the same pair once, do you remember? I must have been about 13. Gosh those shoes were awful weren’t they?

I have a really strong memory of you picking us up from primary school one day. You had on a white blouse and a yellow linen pencil skirt and I remember thinking how much prettier you were than all the other mums at school. I was so proud of you and all you achieved with us; I wanted to be like you when I grew up. I look so much like you now anyway! My hair is all soft and curly like yours when you used to painstakingly heat the metal comb over the stove in order to do your hair. I can still remember the smell.

Speaking of smells do you remember how you used to bake fresh bread every Thursday? We’d be so excited coming back from school knowing we had that yummy goodness to devour! Sometimes you’d make tea bread instead which no one else has ever managed to perfect. I miss your cooking so much now and I wish I’d paid attention when you told me to watch you.

I’m sorry Mum, I really am. I don’t know why it seems I always have to do things the hard way but I really am so sorry if I’ve disappointed you.

I was a wreck when he proposed to me. It should have been such a happy time but the first thing you said to me when I got back from Paris and told you the news was, “I’m sorry but I can’t be happy for you.” Do you remember that? I know now, why you were concerned but is it weird for me to say that I don’t regret marrying him?

You told him that I wasn’t his wife and wished him good luck with his own future. Did you really believe he would just walk away? I wonder where I would be now if he had. Anyway, he didn’t. We got married against your will and we are now divorced so I guess you were right about that.

When Annie died, I thought that would bring us back together but it didn’t. When he filed for divorce I thought that would bring us together but it didn’t. Mum, there were times when I would lie curled down on the floor in our flat like a wounded animal and just scream and scream until my voice ran out. I was in so much pain and I felt completely abandoned.

Where were you? You were so protective over us as children but I felt like you just left me out in the wild and let life deal with me the hard way. Was that a considered decision? You still spoke to my siblings but not to me. That feels considered. And it hurts. You must be hurting too, mum, to allow me to suffer on my own like that.

Do you love me Mum?

Do you?

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