My mum is the strongest woman I know. She is practical and pragmatic and wise and likes to keep things simple. I, on the other hand, am a delicate flower. I am spaghetti brained, disorganised and a dreamer and tend to make life so much more complicated than it needs to be. This tendency to live on the dramatic side of life means that every so often I will find myself wilting, my life force drained by the pursuit of my complicated dreams, and every time I wilt, my mum is the person I turn to for the sunlight and water and essential nutrients I need to perk me back up again. A WhatsApp message, a phone call, a FaceTime, just to hear the sound of her voice and hope that some of that wisdom and pragmatism and plain old common sense will make its way across the Irish sea and bring me back down from the clouds.
There are so many #momentswithmum that I cherish. Hunting in the garden for eggs as a child when our hens went rogue and decided they would hide their precious offerings beneath the hydrangeas rather than in their nesting boxes in the hen house. Watching my mum use those eggs to whip up the most delicious home made quiches and soufflés for our supper, or teaching me how to get the ‘peaks’ just right when making meringues.
Seeing her smiling, encouraging face at all my ballet and dance recitals and school concerts, from primary school right through to my first professional stage performance. The note she wrote for me and my cast when she came to see the first show I produced myself. Never one to over-flower her sentiments, her pride was evident in every carefully chosen word. It made all the stress, the doubt, the money worries and the time our first theatre double booked on us worthwhile.
Her pure, unfettered joy when she met her first grandson for the first time. After ten weeks of recovery I was finally well enough to make the flight back home to Ireland to introduce her to Ollie. She rushed out to meet us in the driveway of my family home, impatient for that first cuddle and put her hands to her face as she declared him to be perfect.
The little buckets of flowers she carefully crafted for all the tables at my wedding. Fretting about whether or not the colours were right in my bouquet, but then concluding that, actually, they were perfect. The ring she gave me as my something borrowed and the hug that said, ‘we made it, through all the ups and downs and the times when you have ‘wilted’ but here you are, my big girl getting married.’
There are all the little #momentswithmum that I’ll remember. The chats over a cup of tea at 4 o’clock which is almost a religious occasion in our house. How she loves to hear every last detail of a holiday. Her delight at the simple pleasures, like going out for lunch, or going ‘mad altogether’ in the M&S Food Hall when she comes to visit me in Brighton. The books we’ll recommend for each other, the latest ‘must see’ on Netflix, the notes we’ll swap on our favourite lotions and potions.
My mum is the strongest woman I know. And when life throws another curveball or I wonder what on earth made me think this latest mad cap idea was a good one, all I need to know is that her blood flows through my veins. I will get up, get dressed, pencil in my eyebrows and face the day like my mother’s daughter should.
By Jude Schweppe - Creative Director at Flowercard