Lucie Loves... Life // For You, Mum
The past 18 months have been quite a challenge. Without my mum I’d have collapsed under the weight of everything that I was facing. I wanted to write about my mum. This post is dedicated to here as a way of letting her know how truly grateful I am for everything she does for me, for us.
Planning a wedding when you’re in a full time job, maintaining a lively blog and having a social life is a bit of a hassle actually. There have been times when it’s all felt a bit too much (like when we spent months trying to find the right venue) and I started wondering what craziness possessed us to want to get engaged in the first place - be prepared to upturn your happy world until your life revolves around all things wedding-y.
My mum is quite unique.
She had me when she was only 19 years old, walked up the aisle 4-months pregnant in fact. She basically sacrificed everything to raise her three children. She would often look after my cousins too - so often had five kids in tow - to make life and childcare arrangements easier for my Aunty who had a full-time job. However, she was a fully qualified short-hand typist working in a solicitors office as Legal Secretary before I was born.
My mum lives life at 110mph but always manages to make time for her family.
Growing up my mum often juggled a couple of low-paying part time jobs to fit around my step-dad’s work and our school hours and - as she can’t drive - would walk, cycle or take the bus to get there.
Her colourful CV includes packing toiletries in a factory, working as an early morning cleaner in a pub, working night shifts and weekends at the Co-op (Lateshop), as a sales assistant in Fast Film, a Fishmonger in Morrisons, on a number of market stalls selling cooked meats, carpets and cards (not at the same time), working in a call centre and then at her present job at the local hospital doing clerical/admin work. All the while putting her own dreams on the back burner to ensure that my life and that of my brother and sister: our health, education, careers, and stomachs were well catered for.
Despite having little or no money to lavish on themselves, my parents always made sure we never went without. Growing up and getting free school meals didn’t have the stigma attached to it that it seems to these days. My grandparents helped out each year and bought us new shoes and coats: we made the most of the local market sellers like Latif’s and Ethel Austins for new uniforms that didn’t cost the earth. I remember growing up thinking that Marks and Spencers tights were a real luxury!
It feels like only yesterday that my mum dropped me off at my university halls in Birmingham and burst into tears when she realised that she’d have to leave me there. As us kids grew and started to leave the nest my mum got her life back. Her and my step-dad have a huge fondness for the Lake District and over the course of a few years managed to complete all of the famous Wainwright’s Walks.
I now live in London and my mum and I speak or FaceTime every day. It’s during these calls that I can rant about anything that’s troubling me, find out how the family up north are doing and catch up with her.
My mum has a lot going on in her personal life at the moment but her support for me has been unwavering. However, she doesn’t treat herself very often. At 28 years old she suffered a back injury. But it wasn’t until the age of 46 that she finally had surgery for it so was in pain for years but carried on working.
She’s already undergone one big operation to replace a couple of discs in her back and is going in for a second operation on her spine called an Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion (ACDF) in a few days time. My mum has suffered with her back for a many years now, but it was only when we went on holiday last year and she slipped and fell down some stairs (due to an unsecured bottom step) that she did even more damage to her neck.
We get married in May this year and mum being mum is desperate to make sure that her recovery period for the operation does not affect her ability to come on my Hen Party, or leave a big, unsightly scar on her neck for the wedding as she wants to play an active part in everything.
I would love to take her away somewhere. Just the two of us. As she doesn’t get to treat herself very often and a post-recovery trip away is just what the doctor ordered and is something that she - more than anyone - deserves. I love you, Mum.
UPDATE: My mum had her operation on 31/03/15, it went well and she’s now recovering at home.