54 Things I Miss About Mum

Today should be Mum’s 54th birthday. It’s not, because you can’t really have a birthday when you’ve died. I’ve spent the day helping out at Fresher’s, because it turns out life does sort of go on after someone has died, but the other night I was up until stupid-o-clock missing Mum, so I decided to try and write 54 things I miss about her, which wasn’t nearly as hard as it might sound.

  1. She always insisted that chocolate was necessary (and could solve anything)
  2. The times when we’d all jump into Mum and Dad’s double bed together and watch TV
  3. Crawling into her bed in the middle of the night when things were rough
  4. She used to make me cornflakes with brazil nuts and skimmed milk, and bring it up to my room on mornings when living felt impossible
  5. Dancing around the kitchen to Caro Emerald
  6. Spinning on the spinny chair in the office, reading her work
  7. Singing along to American Pie and Living on a Prayer (loudly!) in the car
  8. She would pick up odd bits of clothing from Tesco on her way home from work
  9. Learning the saxophone (aka, the foghorn) with me, then continuing to play it for years
  10. She used to do ski squats whilst cleaning her teeth every morning (quite a sight!)
  11. She would make a smoothie every morning (the noise of the machine waking up the most sleepy of brains)
  12. Birthday teas
  13. The Christmas advent calendar – which she would fill every day (even when I was at uni)
  14. Texting her about anything and everything
  15. People watching from coffee shops
  16. Showing me her favourite place in London
  17. Her reasoned, calm approach to advice-giving
  18. Making a cake every Monday
  19. Hugs
  20. Being quietly encouraging in most of the things that I did
  21. Knitting help
  22. Her amazing memory (something I didn’t always appreciate…)
  23. Watching crappy TV/films together
  24. Feeling Safe
  25. Her love of Wimbledon
  26. Bitching about people on TV
  27. Help with anything and everything academic
  28. Table tennis wind-downs during revision periods
  29. Her famous snack drawer at work
  30. Everything on the shopping list magically getting bought
  31. Running the Fairtrade stall at church
  32. Christmas preparation – the cake, nagging Dad to write the Christmas letter etc.
  33. Thoughtfully buying things that we wanted/needed (before we asked for them)
  34. Not being too easily embarrassed
  35. Her friends
  36. Sitting on her knee (yes, even when I was 20)
  37. Her love of the Dales and being outdoors (and ability to get everyone else up and outdoors with her)
  38. Always being up for giving anything a go
  39. Her hatred of sprouts
  40. Appearing to have all the time in the world to listen to a rant/bad day
  41. Not allowing us to be ill, ever, unless we were dying
  42. Putting courgettes into absolutely everything (what else are blenders for?!)
  43. Damson jam
  44. Never-ending patience with my various artistic endeavours (and the inevitable trail of destruction that ensued)
  45. Putting Christmas CDs on long before Dad saw them as acceptable
  46. Letting my cry on her when everything got too much
  47. Helping me to make good decisions
  48. Helping me to learn adulting
  49. Being patient with me when I struggled to be patient with myself
  50. Sharing memories of her childhood with me
  51. Having so much knowledge on so many different topics
  52. Undying enthusiasm for card games
  53. Her optimism and hope about almost everything
  54. Always, always being there for me.

Here is where you can donate to Mum’s ‘one year on’fundraising page online.

If you’d like to donate via your phone, please text ‘FOYO53’ followed by £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070.

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