Its been quite a start to the New Year. After all the hype of 21st December we entered 2013 with some trepidation. All my plans to write more often were twarted by the flu and then my intentions to detox were twarted by the many important birthdays I have in january. Almost one every day! I spent a wonderful few days with my daughter for her birthday doing girlie things like shopping in Bicester village and going to see the wonderful film “The Life of Pi”. We spent a great day at the Manoir aux Quat’re Saisons learning to cook with Raymond Blanc- our Christmas present. A wonderful joyful time. But then on the Sunday I was called to my mum’s care home because mum had contracted a chest infection. After suffering for 15 years with that brutal disease Alzheimer’s she succumbed and passed peacefully into “that good night” It happened so quickly and I felt numb . I didn’t even cry! I then threw myself into doing all the practical things you have to do when someone dies. I was comforted by all the messages of sympathy I received from friends and clients.You then think so much about all the wonderful times we had and what a beautiful mum she was. I was truly blessed. I’ve been writing something to say at her memorial and I came across this wonderful parable I would like to share. This is for all those women who are mums and those who may be one day and even those who choose not to be for whatever reason. We all come from a woman. Don’t take them for granted. Appreciate them every day if you can. They are the lovers and the nurturers. The glue that holds families together.
“Little Parable for Mothers” (Sower’s Seeds of Encouragement: 100 Stories of Hope, Humor & Healing, # 4)
The young mother set her foot on the path of life. “Is the way long?” she asked. Her Guide said, “Yes, and the way is hard. But the end will be better than the beginning.”
The young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children, and gathered flowers for them along the way. The sun shone on them and life was good, and the young mother exclaimed, “Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.”
Then night came, and tempests tossed. The path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold. The mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said, “Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come to us.” And the mother cried, “This is better than the brightness of the day, for I have taught my children courage.”
Morning came and there was a hill ahead. The children climbed and grew weary, but at all times she exhorted the children, “A little patience and we are there.” So the children climbed, and when they had reached the top they said, “We could not have done it without you, Mother.” The mother, when she lay down that night, looked up at the stars and said, “This is a better day than the last for my children have learned fortitude in the face of harshness.”
The next day brought strange clouds which darkened the earth—clouds of war, of hate and of evil. The children groped and stumbled, and the mother shouted, “Look up! Lift your eyes to the Light.” The children looked up and above the clouds they saw an Everlasting Glory. It guided them and brought them beyond the darkness. And that night the mother got down on her knees and prayed, “This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children my God.”
The days went on, and the weeks and months and years and the mother grew old. She was tired and bone weary. Her children were now tall and strong and walked with faith and courage. And when the way was hard, they helped their mother; when the way was tough, they lifted her and carried her. At last they came to a hill and beyond the hill they could see a shiny road and golden gates opened wide.
The mother said, “I’ve reached the end of my journey. And now I know that the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them.”
The children replied, “You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the golden gates.”
They stood and watched their mother as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said to each other, “We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence.”
And that will be my mum. A beautiful living presence in my heart forever. Goodnight my darling mum. Keep dancing in the Winter Gardens in the Sky. Sleep tight. x