Thoughts of Mothers' Day and 'The PEAS!'
Saturday, May 08, 2010
Mother's Day yet again, seems way less than a year ago since Dad and I shared our first one without Mum. That day began with sadness, but by lunchtime we started talking about Mum and her way of looking at life and all its challenges.
Despite being in incredible pain with multiple cancers and hospitalized for her last few months of life, she never once press ed that 'call' bell to summon help without thanking the person who came to her aid and apaolgizing for causing trouble. Even when she was too weak to speak, she would mouth the words, a truly caring, loving and thoughtful lady right to the end. Throughout her life she put herself last, behind family, friends and those in need.
I well remember all those times when for various reasons when I was little money was a little tight. Often she would buy lamb loin chops for dinner, knowing we all loved them, but then cutting the 'tails' off my chop and my sister's for her plate. She always did this without even thinking about it, was always ready to jump up from her seat and fetch anything anyone asked for, whether or not she had finished her meal or not. She was such an example of kindness and love for us, and we were so lucky to have been her children.
Dad and I somehow started got on to the subject of the funny things Mum had said and done, of which there were many, the most often repeated of them had to do with peas. Yes, green peas... Whenever she had company for a meal, she would always cook a roast, that was it, and always there was a wonderful dessert to follow. The one consistent thing my father, my sister and I would wait for each time we were having such a meal with friends or family around Mum's kitchen table was that we would be at least half way through the main course before Mum would suddenly jump up from her chair, shouting "The PEAS!' We always felt a little cheated if she didn't...
The reason for her actions was that she would do so many vegetables - roast potatoes, pumpkin, onion, carrots, parsnip, pear (if you haven't tasted pear cooked with a roast you have really missed out), then there would be cauliflower, cheese sauce, gravy, and sometimes peas. It would have to be a 50/50 chance as to whether they would be remembered, sitting there at the back of the stove in their own little saucepan, and it was always the best part of each meal when half-way through it she gave that call "The PEAS!'
You wouldn't believe it, but after Mum's funeral, family and friends came back to the house for dinner that night, where my sister and I had decided to carry on with Mum's tradition of a roast for company, and cooked everything Mum would have. Mid way through the meal we were talking about Mum's roasts and suddenly both of us looked at each other wide eyed, and jumped up calling out 'The PEAS!' It was done by accident, that small saucepan sitting forgotten on the back of the stove, but it was just as if Mum was there with us at that moment. From that moment on, what had been a very sombre meal turned into one filled with laughter, happy memories and love. Mum would have been pleased, I know.
To all of you lucky enough to still have your Mother with you, let her know how much you love and appreciate her, and to all who are no longer so lucky, think back to all those small, seemingly unimportant moments and give thanks for the wonderful memories you have.