I hope my Mum doesn't mind me putting a picture of us on here but I love this one. It was taken on New Year's Eve '13 when we visited my brother Phil and his family in London. They were staying over on a little trip from Tampa Bay, Florida where they live. (Sorry to the others I cropped out of this picture but this one is all about Mum!) I was bit self-conscious myself as I had no make-up on but you can see a nice little bump showing of my baby boy to come! Can't wait!
So, onto the poetry! And in my usual need to elaborate, I just want to give a brief introduction to each poem as to where the ideas came from. Just skip this bit if you get bored with waffle!
1. 'Communication'. My relationship with my Mum as a teenager was often quite fractious. Hormones raging, I just didn't care, I was angry at the world and my Mum unfortunately got the brunt of it. It took me years to understand that I needed to give her respect, no matter what I felt! And I think it took her a while to really understand I didn't do it deliberately to hurt her - not that that justified my behaviour, of course I know it wasn't acceptable. But she did get very upset by it and I don't blame her! So I hope this one gives an insight for both Mums and teenagers alike of how to move forward in this situation if you're going through the same.
2. 'Recovery'. This one is a little sad as it paints the picture of a time in my life leading up to a point culminating in my Mum having severe kidney failure. She was rushed to hospital on the brink of death. As referred to in the poem, she did actually die and came back to life! It wasn't pleasant being in the hospital hearing my Mum's distress, but hey, we all got through it. I don't think I was particularly 'walking with God' in my faith at the time, but I still managed to have strong faith she'd pull through. And she did! Praise God!
3. 'Genes'. A nice one to finish on, this is simply an ode to the gifts and talents handed down to me through my mix of genes and DNA from my Mum and hers. Namely, this creative talent of mine, woop woop! Thanks Mum :) And of course a nod to well taught behaviours such as honesty, generosity and compassion/empathy for others.
Poem 1 - communication
"Humph", I said, "go away!" I said.
"But darling..." I cut her off.
"Shut up! I'm going to my room".
Why does she always bother me?
I could not describe the anger I felt,
All I wanted was to come in and relax,
But no, she had to bug me, didn't she.
My Mother stood there, stunned.
Stung with my words.
The slamming of the door in her face,
Wondering what she had done wrong.
She had been thinking about me all day.
She had only wanted to know how my day had gone.
And what had I done?
Thrown it back in her face, trampled all over it.
Yet I did not feel guilty,
I just felt angry.
Angry at the world.
Not at her, why would she not understand that?
I could hear her crying,
I calmed myself down.
I sheepishly approached her door,
I gently pushed it open.
"Mum", I said, "I'm sorry".
I gave her my explanations,
I knew it did not justify my behaviour.
And I told her I loved her.
She allowed me to hug her,
She said she still did not understand.
I could see she was still upset.
I left her to it.
The next day, when I came home, I still felt angry at the world.
Yet somehow I managed to say the right words,
"Give me ten minutes, Mum.
To get my head together.
I promise I will come and talk to you after that".
Understanding finally dawned on her,
And I had learnt a step forward in communication.
Poem 2 - Recovery
When my Mother was not really there.
Physically, she was.
But her mind was elsewhere.
It was lonely without her,
She was not well.
Sometimes it was distressing, I felt for her.
I remember her screams at the hospital,
She did not know what was going on.
But I was old enough to.
In a way, I still carry the scars today.
I had to stay there all day,
The only member of my family
Without commitments, keeping me away.
I had to sit there,
Wondering, hoping, praying
That she would be ok.
Somehow I felt a peace
That her life would not cease.
Although, actually, it did.
I only found that out after,
When people asked how she had lost weight,
Well, just die a few times
And be revived back to life!
It was the wake up call she needed,
She recovered fully,
And I got my Mum back.
Poem 3 - Genes
I could not say that for mine,
There comes a time
To take responsibility, for me.
Instead of blame,
I like to name,
The gifts and skills given,
My talent I do not resent.
I honour my Mother
For the unique combination,
Of genes and DNA,
That gave me a solid foundation.
Her creative gifts that I share,
I would not change for anything.
They make me want to sing!
To the world I will lay them bare.
Her Mother before her I celebrate,
To show it is never too late.
Over a generation, it skipped
So that, with writing skills, I am equipped.
Kind, compassionate and generous,
These character traits I possess,
Because I was shown the best
I am truly blessed.
As the cycle continues,
My son is on his way,
I was made to see
How a Mother should be.
As is the usual, please do get in touch with your comments. Would love to hear your thoughts.
Photo credits (for 'Communication' and 'Genes' these were adapted to add the titles):
Communication - from Ipsc.usu.edu/global.aspx.
Recovery - from crossfitthames.com.
And Genes - from firstfrcr.com/tag/genes.