Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mum



This is my Mum and Dad’s engagement photo, so as you can imagine it’s quite a few years old (don’t you just love Mum’s beauty spot?). Dad died nearly 7 years ago, but today is Mum’s 75th Birthday. What’s a man to say, except Happy Birthday, Mum!

Some years ago, there was an incident involving me, my sister, her 4th husband and the Mafia (yes, really – and Big Lou wasn’t involved) which resulted in me losing an enormous amount of money and almost going bankrupt. Believe me, it’s a long story, but consequently I ceased contact with my entire family for about 6 years. During that time, my father died in hospital of cancer, and I wasn’t told until about a week after he was buried. I was devastated, and for a period I think I hated all of them for being so unbelievably cruel.

A few years later, during the period of my marriage break-up, I attended a conference at Cambridge University, and remember sitting in my room one day, feeling more desperate than I ever would have thought possible. At that moment, and after 6 years of silence, I knew I needed to speak to my mother. I don’t think I’d ever felt that need before, but I acknowledged it for what it was and, with a sense of trepidation, dialled her number. It took me three attempts, as it was so long since I’d called her that I kept getting the number wrong, but finally she answered the phone. At the sound of her voice, I started to cry, and didn’t stop for about 45 minutes. In fact, this memory is so strong that – typing this – my eyes are welling up again.

Mum just listened, and did her best to offer some comfort, and I went round to see her a couple of days later when I got back to London. I can only say that calling her was the best thing I’ve ever done (okay, one of the best things I’ve ever done). We’re closer than we’ve ever been, and I love her to bits. We’ve learnt not to talk of the past, and just to enjoy the present, because that’s the only way it can work for us. And I regret those years when, to all intents and purposes, I had no family.

So, once again, Mum… Happy Birthday. I love you.

30 comments:

j said...

that make my family oh so normal by comparisin.

sometimes that one call makes all the difference doesn't it? the swallowing of ones supposed pride can change everything.

Happy bday to your mum- she was a looker ;)

NML said...

That was a great post. Very moving. I'm very happy for you that you have re-established a great relationship with your mum. Happy birthday to her and she was indeed a looker :-)

kimmyk said...

We all have had our ups and downs with family huh?
I'm glad something moved you to speak to your mom/mum again. I've been angry many times at people, it's hard to take that first step and reach out. Sorry to hear about your father too. Sometime it would be nice to hear about your sister-4 husbands? bloody hell !

Happy bday to your mom/mum...I hope she has a wonderful day!

wdky said...

J - my family is, indeed, anything but "normal". You don't know the half of it!

NML... thanks darling. I lived that moment again as I wrote it.

Kimmy, she's now on no. 5, and trust me when I say it gets worse. There should be a film about her life, although I doubt it would get a certificate from the censors.

Mary said...

Happy Birthday to your mother. It's great that you have your family back. Some people are too stubborn to ever reconcile.

zoozan said...

you're a mensch

wdky said...

Thanks Mary, and I completely agree with you. Mind you, I can do stubborn too - rather well, actually.

wdky said...

Zooz, it's true, isn't it?

k o w said...

Happy Birthday mum.

SurvivingOnlineDating said...

Are Capricorns brilliant?!!! :)

SurvivingOnlineDating said...

I meant to say aren't Capricorns briliant....

el Jacek said...

Wow... thats pretty crzy man. Mafia, almost going bankrupt, not telling you that your father is dying. Damn. That's pretty crazy... on the bright side you do have your mother, and youre closer now then ever. I think people oftenplace disregard their parents, dont know them at all, and just see them as something totally different, often not even as other people. It's strange - or maybe I'm just strange :o

Emerald said...

wow.

What an honor to read about ehr, and to see her. Thanks.
Happy Birthday, mum. =)

Kimberly said...

Happy birthday to your mum! Sorry to hear about what you have gone through, but am glad to hear that things are doing much better! Remember there always has to be a storm before a rainbow appears! Enjoy your rainbow! :)

wdky said...

KOW, she said thanks, and how's you head...

C... I'm sure you're right :-)

EJ, if you only knew the detail I've left out!! And I'm sure you're no stranger than the rest of us!

Em - thank you!!

Kimberley - believe it or not you are my 20,000th hit! If you have a blog, can you email the URL so I can honour you appropriately?

Blondie said...

My parents and I had very bad "falling out" about 4 years ago. We didn't talk until almost right before my son was born. I'm thankful we put all the bad feelings away because without them...I would have had a much harder time facing my son's sickness when he was born.

I'm sorry to hear about your father but glad that you have your mom still. Also, what a stunning couple they made!

*kisses*

hamrose said...

Family is very tough. I have had a lot of ups and downs with my family too. It's still not the smoothest, but everything is kind of status quo these days. Sometimes you need to not be around them for a while, and that's OK, because for whatever reason that's just what you need to do to sort things out for yourself. The only family member that I didn't have a hard time with was my maternal grandmother, but the expectations were different. She spent her time loving me, not judging me, and it was easier to spend time with her because of that. Growth isn't always a straight line forward on the graph, sometimes there is a lot of up and down.

wdky said...

Ruthie, what's patently obvious is that there are times when we just... need them. Thanks for such a lovely compliment about M&D, by the way.

Hammy, I can really relate to what you say - I used to explain that it was just easier the way it was. (I can understand that you would have had an awful time with that brother of yours, of course!!)

J's Gf said...

She is by any means looking rather dashing -not that that's a word that's usually used about women.

Strange how things happen with families. I was just watching Paxo tracing his family (he was crying at one point, it was quite heartbreaking) on BBC2.

So you didn't talk to your mum for six years? Now I'm curious... Glad you're talking again; I couldn't live without my mum.

Scarlet Pussy said...

Happy Birthday Mum.

I absolutely love the beauty mark...lovely.

wdky said...

J's Gf - I love arousing your curiosity. Naughty, aren't I?

wdky said...

Thabks Scarlet!!! (PS - those are just the most perfect lips I've ever seen. In my entire life.)

yoursecret said...

Ain't family grand?

I hadn't seen my dad in over two years when he phoned and asked to stop by. When he came to the door I didn't immediately recognize him. We visited for a bit, and I forgave him for a lot of things. He still wasn't someone I would want around my children, so I never saw him again. The day he died, my cousin phoned to tell me he was in the hospital. I asked why no one had told me sooner so that I might have had time to say goodbye and was told "the family didn't think you would come!" So, I have a good idea how you feel WDKY. It sucks when others take it upon themselves to decide what you'd want...and we wonder why we sometimes have trust issues!

Yep, your mum was quite an attractive young woman. I'm glad you've rekindled your relationship.
Happy Birthday WDKY's Mum!

Scarlet Pussy said...

Thank you so much for the compliment WDKY.

and thanks for you opinion on my current dilema, its very much appreciated.

wdky said...

Yoursecret - I suspect many of us have a similar story to tell, unfortunately. Mum say's thanks :-)

Scarlet, that was really nice of you.

Caterpillar said...

I'm late commenting! The picture of your parents is just wonderful!!! I love seeing where people come from!

And you have made me so incredibly curious as well, as to the rest of the story with your sister! You're such a tease!!! And deserve a spanking for it! :)

unforgiving bitch said...

wow -- january 11th is my grandma's birthday as well.....

thanks for sharing such a lovely post (and photo)

hamrose said...

LOL. Nah, Nukie is OK. Yer mum is very pretty by the way. She looks like a movie star. (or whatever the U.K. term is) Amazing how we can both be speaking "English" and have very different terms for things. I particularly like "trainers" for "sneakers" and that "jumper" thing, very funny. congrats on 20,000.

Sher said...

Every family has dysfunction... and I mean every one.

What handsome parents you have. My Dad will be 70 on the 20th.

Your HNT pic looks familiar... I wonder why?

Have a great day.

QueenBee said...

Family member, we love you to bits for being in our family ;-)