Mothering Sunday, or Mother’s Day, is just another overly commercialised gift giving opportunity, designed to increase sales for makers of greeting’s cards and sellers of overpriced cut flowers. Or so I used to think. We start life wholly dependent upon our parents, but as we grow up (and if they have done a good job of bringing us up) we inch imperceptibly away from them, building our own lives mentally and physically elsewhere. Sometimes, we still live with or close to them, but spend our spare time with friends; sometimes, we live great distances away and see them only intermittently.
Even after I married, I lived only twenty minutes drive from my parents, and used to visit often; sometimes calling in after work for a cup of tea, sometimes going ‘home’ for Sunday lunch. Even when I moved further away, I still managed to visit monthly and spoke on the phone (no Skype in those days!) several times a week. I still took it for granted that my Mum would always be there, as a sounding board, a source of friendly gossip, a familiar voice. I suppose, I never really thought about a special day for mothers because mine was ‘always there’. And then she wasn’t. My Mum died in January 1993; 24 years have gone by, and every year since I would give anything to have been able to give her a gift and an overpriced card for Mother’s Day. I guess I really did take it for granted that I would have her, if not forever, then at least for a lot more years.