Mum’s the Word on Mother’s Day
“Mothers are all slightly insane.”
― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
According to Wikipedia, “Mum’s the word” is a saying related to an expression used by Shakespeare in Henry VI, Part 2. It means to keep quiet, to say nothing. For “Mum” is a Middle English word meaning “silent.”
Now, my Mom was anything but silent. She got into an awful lot of hot water over the years for speaking first and thinking later. And more often than not, I was on the receiving end of that candour. But do you know, that’s what I miss the most about my Mom: her courage to be candid.
Sure, she could’ve softened the old truth a little now and then – tact wasn’t her strong suit – but she usually said it like it was.
My Mom has been gone now for 14 months. Boy, do I miss her! But I certainly feel her presence in my life and work. I can sense her strong spirit coming through in some of my characters…I find them saying things that I certainly couldn’t say – but that do need to be said.
Technically speaking, Mum’s the word for me this Mother’s Day – because my Mom’s not here to get all excited when I call (and pissed off if I don’t also send a card and/or flowers and/or chocolate). But that’s not to say that I won’t hear her voice, loud and clear, in my head – because I know I will.
For although my Mom lives on in me in many ways, I suspect the most important one is through my conscience – and for that gift, I am eternally grateful.
Another gift my Mom gave me – that ALL of our mothers gave us – that I am profoundly thankful for, is…life. She brought me and my brothers into this world and showed us how the game is played. And when she was done, she left.
My Mom lived her life her way. And as I watched the 5 min photo tribute, set to the song, My Way, again this morning, yes, I still bawled like a baby 🙁 but more importantly, I was reminded to use the precious gift my Mom gave me…to live fully, with no fear and no regrets.
Because our time here is finite.
Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening and the playwright of Saviour. She is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive Maryanne’s weekly blog, please sign up here. The Mothering Matters blog series begins May 11th, 2015…subscribe here to join the discussion.