I went to the Crematorium today.
I haven't been for a while , possibly years.
I wanted to take some flowers to my Mum's memorial as Mothers day is coming up . It had been on my mind ever since I knew I wouldn't be at work today and would have the opportunity. Anyway the desire became more of a compulsion and I bought the flowers and pointed the car in the right direction almost without conscious thought. As i parked I could see the plaque with my fathers name and dates on it and bid a mental 'Hello Dad' to it.I would, as i always do, place a flower or two on the grass below. I realised that it was their wedding anniversary today. My father died when he was 38 . I was a baby so I have no memories of him at all, but the legacy of his death and my Mothers subsequent hard life, cast a very long shadow.
I had a difficult relationship my mother , as she did with me! I was an emotional, clingy and anxious child (still am to be honest) and while I think a small child is quite nice to cling to , especially when you are a young widow and in mourning , as I got older it probably wasn't much fun.
As I grew older , I had the feeling that she viewed me with distaste and I in my turn had no patience or understanding for her . I didn't find her loving or warm . She favoured my sisters company over mine and would only ever grudgingly help with my children. She did seem to like my children quite a bit , but when she died, her oldest friend told me that she knew that my sisters son , her first grandchild, was my mothers favourite . My sister was there at the time and tried to kindly reassure me that it was simply because he was the first. Nevertheless it hurt and a metaphorical door clanged shut! I asked myself why I was mourning a woman who had not been able to be the sort of mother I would have hoped for, and who, it now turned out, had extended her habit of favouritism down the generations. That was probably harder than accepting her lack of feeling for me . How could she not adore my amazing children?
My sister and I were also told by our aunt, that just before she died, my mother had said , she had never been happy. That made me both very sad and very angry.How awful that anyone , nearing the end of their life, couldn't summon up any memories of happiness. The anger came from the fact I couldn't really see why my aunt felt the need to pass that on.
Nonetheless, she was still my mother and I think of her very day. In her defence,life for her was a struggle. She had increasingly poor health , and suffered from depression. The way she bought me up, has had a profound effect on the way I have raised my children , as I never want them to feel as I did. I am happy to risk annoying them on a regular basis in order to let them know just how important they are to me.
I have some understanding of my mothers actions as I get older. I try to let go of any sad feelings or resentment , but I dont always succeed.
Reading http://mrsrunofthemills.blogspot.com/ latest post was very uplifting and pertinent for me today. I loved my mother, despite our poor relationship, but it is time to lay all the hurt to rest.
I bought yellow roses. She liked yellow, trimmed the stems ,arranged them carefully in the stone urn. It was empty today. Often when I do visit, there are flowers there , taken I know, by my sister. Yellow is a good choice on a grey day and those roses seemed to glow and shine. I kept two blooms and walked back towards my car , back towards my fathers resting place. I laid them below his name and stood for a few moments looking the stark fact of the carved 'aged 38 years Now at Peace' and started crying.