On Mother’s Day, we remember our Mums with love and we give thanks for all they have done for us. Many of us don’t have our Mums any more and feel quite sad that maybe we did not say thank you enough at the time and it’s a bit late now.
I often think about how great my Mum was and how her life was tough on all levels, but at least she knew we all loved her, even though we weren’t always there with the right words, or there at all. But what about those Mums who give so much and receive very little back? I often think about what a lonely place that must be, to love and be a victim for loving, to be perceived somehow as weak for caring, or to care about a child who has gone away.
I never asked my Mum how she felt when I left home at 18. I was more interested in pursuing my own education and my own independence and it never occurred to me that it might feel to her like part of her life had changed forever.
This blog post is a piece of Flash Fiction, written for all Mums, but especially for those Mums who don’t get the love and thanks they should. In the lines of self-sacrifice and expecting nothing in return, I can also remember my Mum too.
Gingerbread cake, warm as mother’s love. Spicy and harsh as an absent father.
Her whisk whirled in her hand as she beat away thoughts of the father’s leaving, his new lover, his old threadbare life, a closed door, a final slamming. The eggs dissolving, frothy: her marriage dissolving, messy.
The flour, light as hope. The sugar, each grain a birthday wish, the cake rising, foetal, new, golden and gifted as her son’s future.
She looked at her hands: cooking hands, caressing hands, empty.
She would keep active, useful, to forget.
The cake, displayed in magnificence, shining plate covered with a flurry of flour, icing soft as mother’s hugging, melt in the mouth then forgotten.
Soon her son would be like him. Gorged. Grown. Gone.