Diaries Magazine


Posted on the 14 March 2015 by Middleagedmatron @ageingmatron
In a remote part of the cemetery is a small stone urn, dwarfed by the tombstones around it. Inscribed on the sides is simply 'Mum' and 'Dad' and the year of their deaths in the 1960s. There's no headstone or kerb, nothing to show it's there except, this last December, the glow of coloured lights from a miniature Christmas tree placed beside it.
Such a tiny testament to such huge love. Fifty years after their deaths, someone somewhere can't imagine Christmas without their parents a part of it. Fifty years on, that aged someone marks Mothering Sunday with lily-of-the-valley and a spray of pink rosebuds.
I am awed by the enduring power of human relations and daunted by the expectations it implies of parenthood.
That devotedly tended urn exposes the void that is left when parents pass on. And it shows me the impact we have, for good or bad, on our children.
This Mothering Sunday I shall overlook the wash load that my 12-year-old forgot to hang up, the mascara she's smeared on my bath towel, the raid on the biscuit drawer that no one will admit to.
I shall try, as I soothe sibling conflicts and wrestle fractions on school worksheets, to see my chores as a privilege. For domestic demands, that I sometimes feel diminish me, are building a legacy which I hope will power my children on through the decades when I am just a memory.

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