I miss you Mum!

It’s hard to fathom that it has been 12 months since my Mum passed away.

I miss her dearly. I miss many things, most of all, the simple things we can so easily take for granted. Yet these become such rich things as we cherish memories of those we love deeply.

I miss calling Mum for a quick chat. “523114” she would say in her telephone greeting voice, always leaving of the “49”, although those two digits had been added years ago. We both loved to talk!

I miss a hug, her gentle touch of reassurance. I miss the smile on her face as she delighted in her grandchildren. I miss her laughter and tears. I miss her joyful gift-giving and her very special baked potatoes! I miss sitting with a cup of tea and simply being present together.

A year ago, in the midst our long lockdown, I yearned to be my Mum’s side and hold her hand. I wanted to thank her in person for all she had gifted me in my life, with her presence, love and example. I will never forget seeing her on a screen as she smiled that one last time and told me how much she loved me and to cherish and take care of those I am privileged to love.

I am glad my Mum taught me that men should cry! It is good to catch my breath and weep today – tears of sadness and joy. I am thankful too for men, who know the pain of losing a mother, who have reminded me over this past year of the importance and hard work of grieving well and the need to have others help on that journey.

As I walked my little kids to school in the rain today and chatted with my older kids and brother up north, it has been good to swap some stories and photos and celebrate legacy – to laugh and cry about memories of time with Mum & Grandma.And my heart is with my Dad today who has courageously navigated a year without Mum by his side after 58 years of marriage. Some of you reading will know first hand the reality of that strange and painful journey and my thoughts are with you.

A year ago, I wrote that my Mum was a constant compass in my life. I miss that certainty of her presence in all seasons of life and her encouragement. And yet I am thankful to God today for the gift of such dear mum; one who was far from perfect, but one who was loyal and loving.

And I am thankful that over the past year as I have grieved and faced some other unexpected big challenges, I have had Megan by my side and the God of my Mum’s favourite psalm – a God of refuge and strength, an ever-present hope!

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