So.. Mom is back to cold, snowy England after spending a glorious 5 weeks in sunny (sweaty) Malaysia with us and her new grandson. Although she does actually like winter, well seasons in general. Which Malaysia doesn’t really have. We have hot, or hot and wet.
I’m sad though, honestly gonna miss having her around. We’ve had a really good time this year. Xmas together, giggling together with Liam which is always magical. Great food (mostly home cooked), a few exciting outings to quiet shopping malls. Xmas shopping and amazing gifts all around.
Just generally happy times.
When I wrote this she was somewhere midway between KL and Dubai, where she’ll spend almost 4 hours before heading home to Birmingham. Near where I’m from, the small cathedral city of Worcester, yes where the sauce is from (Lea & Perrins).
I had a fairly turbulent childhood and a fairly troubled teenage period, mostly due to my dad. My mum was always there for me and did a truly amazing job. Honestly we’ve not always had an ideal relationship the past few years. Mostly because I needed to figure myself out and I have an unfortunate natural propensity to be a sharp tongued, snarky asshole. It even came up at a recent work review, the exact word was snide. Which yes, at times I still need to work on.
As clichéd as it sounds, you only truly value what your parents did for you (especially your mum) when you have a child yourself and you’re like ‘HOLY SHIT THIS IS HARD’ even with unlimited Internet access.
So yah, we were poor, we had hardships but I have a LOT of amazing memories with my mum. She’s getting old, clumsy and forgetful but I truly appreciate what she did for me. When she was over 40 and I was in my late teens, my dad had enough of me and wanted to throw me out of the house as soon as I hit 18. My mum went to Uni, took on 2 jobs, still cooked dinner and got herself a degree (including a foundation because she left school at 15).
After that she got herself a car (yah my family had our first car when I was about 19), a decent job and left my dad so I’d always have a safe place to call home. I worked for a full year so I could afford tertiary education and helped mum do up the ex-council house she’d bought in rather disreputable area. Which didn’t bother me as I was a rather disreputable chap.
And off I went to Uni, which is a whole other story.
So basically for my entire childhood, my mom looked after me, taught me, nurtured me, inspired me, protected me (sometimes physically) but mostly mentally, filled me with a love for food and travel and generally made me a decent human being. And I was quite a handful, so I know it wasn’t easy for her. She has almost infinite patience. We couldn’t afford much, but she always made sure I had what I needed, and she’d bust her ass to get me what I wanted as well.
But at the same time teaching me the value of money along the way, I started working when I was 14 selling charity magazines door to door and she’d be right there with me, rain or snow helping me each step of the way. Newspaper rounds when the load was too heavy on Sundays (Sunday papers are HUGE) she’d pull the trolley until I could manage it. When I went to Uni I could cook, clean, operate a washing machine etc which surprised me when most 20 year old couldn’t. All down to my mum.
I reconciled in some form with my dad last year, after not speaking to him for about 12 years – which I think made her happy and brought her some kind of peace too.
Sometimes we just need to forgive, let go and move on.
It’s hard, but also necessary as I’ve learnt over time. I honestly hope he gets to meet Liam too, as I hold no grudges any more. He’s honestly not too healthy (mind or body) due to the ravages of long term alcoholism and his diet (his idea of vegetables is baked beans). But whatever had happened is water under the bridge and I’m honestly too old to be blaming my parents for any issues I still have.
I genuinely believe he’s sorry for his transgressions and he seems happier that I at least visited him for a few minutes.
Skiing in Austria paid for by a gambling win no doubt.
Life goes on eh? It’s gonna be a lot quieter with my mom back in England that’s for sure.
* This was originally written on Dayre, but I thought I should probably share it here too.