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Sunday, 9 February 2014

Darling Mummy

A letter to my mother on the birth of her second child …

Darling Mummy,

For some mystical reason, I have felt the urge to dedicate my birthday to you this year and I’m proud to do so.  I have no memory of that day, nor of so many of the years that followed that day. So many questions.

Fifty-four years ago, you were wheeled into a sterile delivery room, alone, at the British Hospital, in Uruguay.  The outcome of your nine-month wait: another girl.  Everyone, and you included, had predicted a boy.  Everything ready was for a boy.  But I was a girl.

How did you feel?  I have wondered all day today … In my selfish act of growing up, chasing my teens, raising my own kids, and adding notches to the growth chart of my life, I never really thought about the fact that this day is just as much about you as it was about me.

I wondered all day today if – as you sat in your room bundled up against the horrible English winter – you had a flash of memory about that day, fifty-four years ago today when you became a mother for the second time. So many questions.

That’s something else I’ll never know, and it's OK, Mummy, because I don’t remember anything about that day either.  Maybe if I’d been smart enough, earlier, to ask you more questions, to be more curious, you might have told me more of your story.  I think this shows me that memories can sometimes be overrated – because even thought neither of us remembers, we’re both here.  So many questions.

Too late for questions now.  So, thank you, Mummy.  Thank you for going through whatever you went through to give me the gift of life and love.  You were and always be the most amazing, caring, loving and funny girl; brave and shy; stern yet fair; always interested in other people’s lives and ready to lend a hand - even today.  I love you always.  Noony xxx

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Unless otherwise noted, all articles are written by Cath Rathbone. (Copyright Catherine (Cath) Rathbone and Noony Brown)