A fog has lifted. Mother’s day was the marker. I can admit now that for the last three Mother’s Days I have struggled. My negativity towards the world of two parent families was quite intense for 2012, 2013 and even 2014. I only ever had one Mother’s Day with Colin all present and correct so I felt robbed of breakfasts in bed or other such little treats that he may or may not have thought of doing. Knowing Col so well though I know if he had been here for those three special annual Hallmark feted Sundays the day would have been marked by a card rapidly bought on the way home from work and perhaps a chaotic Sunday lunch before he scooted off to play squash. I am under no illusions that he would have meticulously planned presents from the girls, arranged a massive bunch of flowers and given me a spa voucher for a massage to take away the stresses and strains I thought I was suffering because I didn’t know how good I actually had it. Nope elaborately thought out gifts…that just wasn’t him. He flew a little more by the seat of his pants when it came to his gift buying and because I didn’t know how much I should appreciate him just being in my life I would probably have nagged and perhaps even complained but I would hopefully have laughed and enjoyed him as he enjoyed our little family.
This year though I didn’t spend the whole day wishing my way back to a more normal life and feeling slightly vitriolic towards others who
seemed to have everything I wanted but could never have again. Instead I woke up to my gorgeous girls cuddling in and showering me with kisses and smothering me with giggles. Yes there were moments when they drove me mad through the day but overall I could see the positive side to life because they are in it. Cameron did bring me flowers too so I was spoilt and I have had time to reflect on how far I have come.
I was told in the early days to take each minute, each hour and each day as it came. Baby steps. Now four Mother’s Days down the line it is only when I look back that I realise how far all those little tentative steps have taken me. I am altered but I am here and I can see forward to a new life. I will always hurt. I will always feel his absence but I can’t spend my whole life wishing for Mother’s Days, birthdays, anniversaries to be as they could have been. Instead I can appreciate the girls’ love, the love they now have for Cameron and how much Cameron brings to our lives without ever trying to replace Colin. There were tears when Cameron arrived with those beautiful flowers because he is good with flowers and thoughtful gifts. One of Col’s best friends urged me a while back to not put Col on a pedestal. His words came to me on Sunday and made me smile. When it came to gifts Col wasn’t the best.
Col’s ‘Thoughtful’ Gifts List
1. Our first Christmas together and Col was on the hunt for the perfect present. When he called my sister to check in (I had advised this as I knew how off-piste Col may stray) she had to tell him in no uncertain terms, “Step AWAY from the Slendertone Belt. She will not appreciate the thought.”
2. A subsequent Christmas a number of years down the line…A Steamer to (in his words) “stop you being so snotty”.
3. A little wee present just bought because he saw it and he thought of me – “Heel Away”. Yes, it was a cream to remove hard skin from my feet which he often compared to Egyptian Mummies and which, he pointed out immediately, contained Urea or “wee” before guffawing at my sort of pretend indignation.
Others amazing gifts that never came to fruition were driving lessons and tennis lessons both of which were skills I thought I was OK at until he suggested the need for tuition in the matter.
Ah Col in the end you gave me two of the best gifts in the world…our girls and they are most amazing.