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  • Lily Lawson

Mother's day

Everyone thinks their Mam is special and they all are. Usually on a Mother's day I buy a present and a card. In recent years I have written a poem for the inside of the card. We have, in the past had a meal out. Like children of all ages, up and down the land I tried to let my Mam know how special she was. This year I can't because this is my first one without her.

My Mam operated an open door policy. She wanted everyone to be included, fed and watered. The phrases that come to mind

" are they not coming in?" "get them a chair" "put the kettle on" "where's the biscuits?" "what about the bairn*?" "does the dog need a drink?" "get them something to play with"

"did you ask them?" "have you told them?" "do they need a lift?" "is there anyone we've forgot?" "do you think that's enough?" "is that everybody?" " have we got a card/present for ....?" "do they want any?" "get another plate/cup/glass" "give them some" "do they want anything else?" *a bairn is a child

She cared about everyone. She loved to help and volunteer me and my Dad to do so too. "give her a hand" "I've said you'll help" "I've said we will give them a lift/take them home" "give them something"

She made the words up to songs, created many stories off the top of her head (sadly not written down), got dressed up at the drop of a hat, and could copy any dance. She was famous for her trifle, loved to wind people up (but never to annoy them- we'll have a bit fun...), and loved to be a one person team with her great niece (that's what they said - they were one person). She loved children, flowers, chocolate, cake, days out, holidays and trips to the theatre. She had the best laugh and could crack you up with a look. She loved to be hugged and was impossible to say no to. She volunteered at Kids 'R' Us (kids club) till she was 82, alongside her other volunteering for the church going back over 40 years.

This is the poem I wrote for her funeral

I know you're gone, yet I am in disbelief, that I will never again, see your smile, hear your laughter, listen to your unique version of songs, hug you, or laugh at your silliness.

I wasn't ready to let you go, in truth, I never would have been. I know you will be forever in my heart, and in my head. You are the very epitome of unforgettable.

On Mother's day I also think of the woman who gave me life. My adopted mother got all the cards and the attention but my birth mother was not forgotten, not by me. Until a couple of years ago I knew very little about her. She was anonymous. I had the odd details of my birth scattered like fragments over the years but there was too many missing pieces to make any kind of picture. I may never know what she looked like, what made her laugh or cry, if she could sing or dance. I have no memories or photographs. I never gave her a hug, flowers or even a cup of tea. I knew her for the first 5 days of my life, we never met again.

I hope she was loved, I hope her boys made a fuss of her on Mother's day (she had three grown-up sons before me). I hope she knew I never forgot her. I hope that she was able to find some peace, that she wasn't weighed down by guilt. She did her best.

My adopted Mother's Alzheimer's brought it's challenges but it made me focus on my need to get a move on with finding out about my birth family before the person with the details was no longer able to share them with me. I haven't done anything with the information the adoption agency gave me yet.

My Mam (adopted Mother) died in December. My life will never be the same without her, but I was lucky to have her in my life as long as I did. Our relationship wasn't perfect, there is no such thing. I will love and miss her forever.

My research has revealed my birth mother died some years ago. So this Mother's day will be my first one without a living Mother. I will be thinking of both of them. One gave me life, the other gave me memories. I am who I am in part because of them. So I will raise a glass to my two Mothers this Mother's Day and every one to come.