One thought that has always battled my sense of peace is this: We won’t always have the time to tell people the words they deserve to hear while they’re alive/while we’re alive. Call it morbid, but surely it’s only morbid because of the taboo label we attach onto death. Eulogies have always baffled me. Of course they’re a great tool of bringing people together in a time of sorrow and grief, but what if said “inspiring/brilliant/the-loveliest-person-ever” never got to know you felt this way? I think that’s the truly morbid part.
It’s Not a Eulogy, it’s a Reminder
To my friends she is the Cath Kidston Mum: She bakes, she sews, she plays Sudoku at night. But she’s not as quiet and cutesy as she likes to make people believe. She’s weird. Really weird. The Unsuspecting Mother that is my mum, performs – performs – Zumba routines in the kitchen and she sings that note in Wicked t-e-r-r-i-b-l-y with me with all of her might. She would never do half a job when it comes to doing her favourite musicals proud. Never. Ever.
Yes, she likes home comforts – adores them – but she gives James Bond a run for his money. My mum ran 10 miles just the other day with the biggest grin on her face, I’ll have you know! She loves the competitive aspect of beating strangers on those Fitbit challenges. “I beat ‘Leslie’ by 5000 steps today!” My most inspiring woman in the world despises heights (whereas I quite like them) and yet walked around British Airways i360 more confidently than I did. She adored it. She wouldn’t say it, but she is adventurous.
So don’t be fooled by the Cath Kidston appearance (but be assured she is every bit as lovely and kind as everyone thinks she is) and don’t underestimate the intentions behind the lovely little lady handing you a slice of one of the potentially two or three cakes she baked over the weekend. Yes, she mostly just wants you to enjoy it but she is also waiting for the compliment (oh, and it’ll be so tasty that you will give it to her). And that trait? I actually think she got from me. What else about her weekends? Well she just might start and finish a whole book. She might even get through half of another. That’s just my mum for you. Or she might go on 10k jog when she was expecting to stop at 5k. She might just do all of the above. A teacher once called me “quietly confident” but the biggest secret is that I got that from my mum.
My mum has been working a handful of jobs – working weekends and whenever necessary – for as long as I can remember. All the while she has cooked my dinner and baked with me; taken me to tennis lessons and scrapbooked with me; listened to me recite text for tests at school and spent my days off from school shopping with me or watching Love Happens with a pizza. And she’s raised a girl who doesn’t see her gender as an obstacle. She’s raised a daughter who is proud of being confident, able to speak out and someone who always wants to improve. Credit where credit’s due, I’m a delight. 😉 But, really, for all my faults, she really has created my strongest qualities.
And thing I am most grateful for- the thing I must say thank you for the very most: The absolute core of me is made from her. How lucky am I to have inherited some of her passions. Books and the magic they make us feel. Baking and the warmth it provides us. Wave jumping and doing it because it makes us giggle… Doing things others might not because it makes us happy. She bakes, she sews, she Sudokus. She runs, she reads, she gets excited. She’s lovely; she’s brilliant; she’s beautiful; she’s everything I aspire to be like. Like the good hearty stuff I haven’t got the hang of yet- and wonder if I ever will. Even if it’s just my little finger that posses my mum’s…
…I’ll take it and use my little finger with pride.
She deserves these words for every single day I’ve known my lovely mum, and for every day onward. And she deserves way more. A book? A series? A script that follows my every thought about her. Because maybe that way she’d always remember how important she is to me. How irreplaceable she is. How she is my best friend. So I’ll raise my metaphorical happy glass of fizzy pop to my mum: The strongest and best woman I know. Just another woman worthy of the history books that are still biased. Still full of ugly fear. But still waiting for us to make a change. And my mother is the exact reason the world needs to take us woman more seriously. Because she isn’t really just another worthy woman: She’s my mum and she’s the best.
It wouldn’t ever cross my mind to be ashamed of being a feminist- it wouldn’t cross anyone’s if the world realised it stands for equality for women and men; for help and support for women and men. There is still so much more to achieve in the improvement of opportunities and quality of women’s lives around the whole world (focusing on the girly aspect of feminism today, just for this post!). Glass ceilings still need to be smashed; sexist, misogynist comments need to be a worldwide no-no-no; women need to be seen as equal in every single way. For the women in the UK and countries alike. And for the women in countries where they aren’t a person- they’re an excuse; the victims of other peoples’ ignorance… constantly.
One of the main reasons I believe in women so strongly – like we all should – is my amazing/awesome/lovely/thoughtful/strong mum. Support feminism for your mum, your wife, your sister or your friend. And tell the women in your life that they are really something. That they’re not simply one thing. They should embrace all that they are. My mum isn’t simply just a brilliant, one in a billion mum. She’s a hard worker and a great baker and all of the above plus more. Tell your girls as soon as possible, because if we don’t, how are we ever going to move this world into the what the 21st Century really should be?
~ Kat ~
P.S. Love you to the moon and back, mum!