May 08, 2005

Wouldn't Mama Be Proud?*

It's been five and a half years since I last spoke to my mother. A lot has happened in those years [...] and I often wish I could have the opportunity to talk my Mum about these things and hear what she has to say. I'm pretty sure she'd be proud, and maybe a little surprised.

My mum was a very special lady, and as my brother and sisters will vouch, you never could tell how she'd react to anything. She was virtually unpredictable, and I suspect it often came down to her mood at any given moment. I wonder where she was when my sister Anna took this picture, on a chilly Saturday morning in May 1985. Maybe doing some washing – pegging out six children ranging from 5 to 17 years old and one husband’s worth of clothing – reaching up to the creaky rotary clothesline in the backyard and back down to the old metal-framed washing basket. Or maybe enjoying a sleep-in while Dad brought her breakfast in bed.

The tree I’m standing in was her favourite. I don’t know what kind it was (past tense required; it’s long gone unfortunately), but I remember she didn’t like me climbing it. The trouble was that although our section had a lot of trees, most of them were took some climbing, and this one was comparatively simple - even though the maximum achievable height was about two feet. And so I persisted. What is childhood for, if not to upset our mothers?

My mother had six children. Ten years before I was born, following the birth of the twins, she was very very ill, and as the family mythology goes the doctors told her not to have any more children. Lucky for me, my mother was a very stubborn woman. Can you honestly imagine a world without Audrey, Guy and me?? It's not worth thinking about.

*title inspired by Elliot Smith


Blogger Martha said...

Having met Audrey and Guy, and now almost having met you, I'm very pleased your mum was a stubborn woman. I imagine she is/was/would be very very proud of you all.

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Greg said...

Nice story.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Meg said...

Jess that was cool, And I totally agree, Mum was very special and the strongest woman, in every way, that I've ever met. Talk about determined! How glad am I that I have you,Guy and Aud, not to mention Anna and Katy! Would be lost without you x

4:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meg that actually brought a tear to my eye, well actually a half-tear to each eye. I also enjoyed v much seeing the extreme bowl-ness of the young Jess's hairstyle.
(At work, Monday morning - Katy)

9:39 AM  
Blogger Jessie said...

... the extreme bowl-ness of the young Jess's hairstyle

Isn't it though! I suppose you escaped that, having curls n all..

4:25 AM  

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