Mothering Sunday

We had a fantastic day on Sunday, well I say we, I mean I did. I was given flowers at church, cards made a Beavers, school and nursery, and a bar of chocolate to boot. The service was awesome at church, the children led the worship, and I went to my mums afterwards, who made me lunch, took the kids to the park and let me have a snooze in front of the fire! Wrong way round I’m sure, but was really amazing to have a rest.

Today we continued thinking about mothering sunday, as me and mum took a trip out together. In July 1974 my older sister Katherine Harriet Nightingale died aged 3 1/2. She would have been 4 in January 1975, and it was 40 years last year since she died. My daughter turned 4 this year, so it’s been a tricky time for me.

Today my mum and me visited the place where she was killed in a car accident in 1974. It was emotionally really exhausting but I also felt really pleased to see for myself where it had happened. It helped me come to terms with the tragedy of it as an accident, as the place it happened, was right in front of a church, in a tiny hamlet, on a quiet country road.

Mum planted a primula in the graveyard next to the road, where she was killed. It was a plant she’d been given for Mothering Sunday and I’d brought a photo, and flowers to lay by the side of the road. After we’d said our goodbyes we decided to go into the church to have a look, and there was a prayer tree for mother’s day, and so we left some prayers for Kate, and I left the photo and a biography of her short life that I’d written there as well. I’m convinced for some reason that someone at the church still remembers the accident, so I left my contact details in case they need to get in touch.

I thought I would cry buckets and I am maybe having a delayed reaction but I actually feel really pleased to have been able to go with my mum to say goodbye.. I don’t think anyone gets over losing a child, but you become a different person instead.

The last few days I’ve been thinking that mothering is more of a verb than a noun. You don’t have to be someone’s biological mother to have a big impact on their lives, and we can all be mothered by lots of people. My husband does his fair share of that in our house and today my mum needed me as much as I needed her. Close family are going through the process to become approved to adopt, and they are parents in waiting, as much as any pregnant “couple”.  I’ve been invited to a party to celebrate the anniversary of a friend’s adoption. It seems fitting to celebrate when she became a mum.

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