On the 11th of March this year it was Mothers day in the UK, and that is where my mother is, so I play by those rules. Austria would give me another couple of months preparation into the year, but you have to play the hand you’re dealt. As I have lived abroad and far away from my parents for years, there is a fairly well trodden path of familiarity when it comes to mothers day. I call her, she grovels about the commercialism of it’s all, how she dislikes cards and that she has bought herself some perfume from me. All in all, Mothers Day, lasts about 20 minutes for me.
All in all, a pretty pathetic effort on my part.
This year was a little different though. I scheduled in the call to my mother as usual, but also, I decided to spontaneously call both of my grandmothers as well. I am terrible at keeping in contact at the best of times but with the previous generation I am as guilty as charged.
My grandmothers are different characters, very different in fact. I didn’t get to see the contrast back to back though, as one of them didn’t answer the phone. My mums mum did answer however, and in what was probably the shortest conversation I’ve ever had with her; it summed her up perfectly.
I said ‘Hello, its Paul, happy Mothers Day!’ and before she finished her sentence, and before I could start another sentence, she had both thanked me and simultaneously wished me well, and said goodbye. This is the thing with Gran, she is very much in to the thought rather than the thing. The fact I had called had made her day, her week even. The conversation didn’t need to go on for her to be able tell her friends.
For a lady who had a very tough life in the worst areas of Glasgow, and who lost her sight at a relatively young age, a grandson calling from abroad was a thing to be proud of. Something I take for granted, she takes pride in, not only does she take more pride in it that I do, she isn’t even the one doing it.
I need to change the tense of that last paragraph, but it still seems too sudden, that is because it saddens me to say that my Gran passed away today. That phone call on Mothers Day was the last time I properly spoke to her. Her pain is over and may she rest in peace. I just hope she realised how much we loved her and will continue to love her.