Sitting here, watching cockatoos fly past in mobs, my dog at my feet and hearing the sounds of my husband and child chat happily, one could be forgiven for thinking today was just a normal, lovely Sunday morning at home. But today isn’t just any day. Today is my mother’s 2 year anniversary.
In my husband’s culture, an anniversary is celebrated by cooking a feast – foods that the one we are remembering loved. The women spend hours in the kitchen preparing the feast and it is then offered up to the ancestors to enjoy before we begin devouring it.
For a while, we did a similar ritual with my Pa. But it wasn’t quite the same with pancakes (his favourite meal) and it certainly didn’t take hours to prepare. But when it came to mum and thinking about this tradition, my husband and I both burst into laughter. See, my mum wasn’t the sort to slave it out in the kitchen. When we’d come home to visit for a weekend, it would be a treat for her because we’d be the ones cooking! And she loved a bistro meal because there was no washing up.
She also treasured an iced coffee and scones in a coffee shop. Life didn’t get better than Proudfoots in Warrnambool with her besties, her mum or her daughters. And gifts were easy, too. She wanted flowers when she was alive, not when she was dead – she wanted to enjoy them. And if the card you got her was so funny that it made her roar with laughter, all the better.
Mum was unique. She wasn’t fussed with any superficial ‘stuff’. She was down-to-earth, witty and her laugh was infectious. She was open minded, self-reflecting and supportive of any decisions my sister and I made (well…. most of them). She admired us for who we are.
So as I listen to those cockatoos, to my son singing to his dad and my dog snoring, I don’t feel like it’s any other Sunday morning. But I do feel like the luckiest person alive to have my mum as my mum. And today when I go out to a bistro for lunch and have (a variation of) an iced coffee and scones for afternoon tea, I’ll be as proud as punch. And quite thankful that I didn’t have to spend the day cooking for her in the kitchen 😉