One of the things that most impressed me about my Mum was her strength of character. Mum faced a lot of adversity in her life but always maintained a strong family unit for my siblings and I. It was after my Mum finally separated from my Dad that her true character was allowed to shine. Mum found her independent spirit and established a life in Galway.
Growing up I often got frustrated with Mum wondering why she wasn’t facing up to her situation and sorting it out immediately. It was only as an adult that I began to understand that it takes time to come to terms with major change, even if you are going to be the one to instigate it.
My Mum was a warrior Mum.
You could be walking with Mum down a freshly swept path, not a bump to be seen when suddenly she would stumble over an unseen grove, followed by a rapid recovery and immediate dismissal of any falling event occurance. Mum was a daily tripper if ever there was one. Now, she would vehemently deny this saying that she never fell over, but all of us walked with a vice-like-grip at the ready when walking beside Mum. I don’t know what it was, maybe she was too distracted with the conversation or the atmosphere but her toes certainly liked getting their grove on! Any available crevice in her walkway and Mum’s feet made a bee line for it. I never saw Mum fully fall, but she certainly went on plenty of trips.
One of my Mum’s favourite sayings when someone did something nice was ‘he’s not a bad old stick afterall’. It always made me smile. I’ve now adopted it as my own!
As all of us grew up we all lived abroad for a while. One of my brothers spent 10 years in the States. Mum used to take visits out to see him on a regular basis.
My brother was like all of us, a chocolate fanatic (Mum did her best to encourage this in all her children.) On heading to the states instead of the empty cases to fill with clothes, as is the custom with many an Irish US bound traveller, Mum would instead have bags choc-a-block with a selection of Cadbury’s that any sweetshop would’ve been proud of! I remember Mum packing , her excitement levels rising at the thoughts of my brother opening up this teasure trove of a chocolate feast.
Thanks to Mary O’Connor from the Galway Advertiser for featuring an article on ‘Mum Lives On’ in the paper this week. The article is here if anyone missed it : http://advertiser.ie/galway/article/9847