Thursday, January 10, 2013

Beholder. Beauty. Eye of.


When everyone had gone to bed except for my mother and myself, I collapsed into her arms; dribbling a gloopy mixture of tears and mucus over her shoulder.

“Mum, I’m trying my best, I really am. And I’ll continue to do so for as long as I live. It's what she deserves: our love, support and guidance; however tricky it gets.”

“I know, love,” she said quietly, rubbing my back.

We stood like that together for a few moments in silence until I realised that age had shrunk her enough that my breasts now slotted on top of hers like two stacked loaves of bread.  The imp inside of me hadn’t yet disappeared, so I shared the observation.  Mum chuckled.  

“You always had a good rack,” I snuffled, half laughing and half sobbing.  Sobbing won the brief battle between shaking off the Sads or falling deeper into them.

“Whenever I tell her that she’s beautiful, she doesn’t believe me. She thinks that it’s just my job to say that.” An elephant-like bellow into a damp tissue added extra punctuation to my statement.

“She is beautiful. If she’d only smile more...”

Stepping back, I decided to say it. To reveal the tiny sadness that had shadowed me, ever-so-faint but still present, for so many years. “But Mum, you never said it to me.”

It was her turn to step back, eyes widened in surprise. “Of course I did love. You were beautiful as a child, beautiful at your formal, beautiful on your wedding day, beautiful when the baby was born -----"

“But you never told me,” I whispered. “Not once.”

“But you must have known?”

Sinking down into the lounge, I looked up at her, still standing there uncertainly. “No, Mum, I didn’t. I would have killed for a ‘you look nice today’ from you. Even once.”

She sat down beside me.  Several seconds passed.  Would she say, 'Oh but you should have been aware of it anyway’ or become defensive, saying that she’d been busy and tired; or reiterate that she never wanted to produce children too full of their own importance, or ....

“You are beautiful. You have always been beautiful.”

She placed her hands on both sides of my cheeks. “I love your beautiful face.”

I cried again, but it was good this time.


25 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

Drat you Kath. It is too early in the day for me to cry.
Lovely post, sadly true.
Something for you to think about though. She is indeed beautiful. Very beautiful. And each and every photo of her shows just how like her mother she is.

Kath Lockett said...

Sorry, E-Child but when I think of this moment I think it was the highlight of my trip home. I was grinning like a goof ball just after I pressed 'publish.'

Andrew said...

Just what I need, tears in my eyes at nine in the morning.

Kath Lockett said...

Andrew, just tell R you splashed some coffee in your eye. Thanks, though.

Hannah said...

I have no words, but yes. In all the ways. Bless yer 'eart, Kath-dear. xoxo

franzy said...

Blogged.

http://franzy-writing.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/my-friend-kath-just-posted-sad-blog.html

Windsmoke. said...

You sure know how to tug at the heart strings and make my eyes leak.

Alexia said...

This made me cry too, because how I wish I had had that conversation with my mother.

It also makes me think that I must tell my daughter how lovely she is more often.

Thank you, Kath.

Pandora Behr said...

Sitting here with wet eyes.

And I think I've never been brave enough to have that conversation with my mother.

Hugsxx

Pandora Behr said...

p.s. Our mothers were brought up in different times to us. (We've talked about this)

Aren't you glad we have different ways of doing things? xx

Kath Lockett said...

Thank you Hannah. Mum - who I already think the entire world, no solar system of - went up a thousand billion more times in my esteem after that.

Thank you too, Franzy. True legend.

Windsmoke, it wasn't the intention but I'm glad it happened.

Do it, Alexia but I've found that we often say or do the things that *we* craved and, most likely, our mothers did that as well.

Pandora - different ways, but not necessarily meant to hurt. Would love to know the outcome of your conversation....

JahTeh said...

Mothers and daughters are supposed to be mind readers but while I'm still slinging insults at mine, she knows I love her.

Anji said...

I'll tell Dom she's beautiful more often. It's obvious to all mums that their daughters are the most beautiful in the world.

My mum never told me I was beautiful either.

Kath Lockett said...

JahTeh, mine knows that I love her too. Very, very much.

Anji, I think that Mums a couple of generations ago weren't encouraged to do so, and that such compliments or feelings or pride were supposed to be assumed or known.

River said...

You made me cry too and wish that I'd told my own girls much more often than I did.
Sapphire is very beautiful and does look like you, but I see LC in her too. Unfortunately she's at the age where she assumes you're "just saying that because you're her mum".
Time will change that and in turn she will tell her own daughter who won't believe her....
Just keep loving her and telling her. Of course you know this already. Hang in there.

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks River.

diane b said...

Well on that sad note I will go to bed. It is unusual for you to be sad. Although I believe a lot of comedians are sad people. love the old photo. I hope your relationship with and feelings about your mother are going to get better and better.

Kath Lockett said...

It's not a sad note, dianeb - Mum was able to sort it for me and I'll forever be grateful

nuttynoton said...

I remember my mum telling me you will always love your children what ever happens. I do miss her so much, great that you can have this conversation with your mum, and I need to tell my daughters how lovely they are, although being a man we do not express ourselves as well!
Lovely post and to be able to express yourself so well

diane b said...

I'm glad to hear that. I have two daughters who I love very much and they are beautiful people not necessarily in a physical sense but personality wise. I think I have told them but maybe it is just in my head. Since Sonya has had children she has repeatedly told me how much she loves me and didn't understand how much I loved her until she had her own children and how much we did for her as parents.

Kath Lockett said...

nutty, tell your daughters how lovely they are. They might not believe you now but they'll be grateful that you said it.

dianeb, I've said the same things to my mother. It's only after being a mother myself that I finally appreciated how much she gave to me (and my brothers).

Kirstie Olley said...

That's just beautiful (no pun intended).

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Kirstie. Mum was already pretty damn high in my estimation, but after this visit, she busted past number eleven.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Kath:
What a finely and sensitively drawn portrait of a woman who clearly has played an intensely significant role in your life. Your writing is so tender and the photograph complements the words beautifully. Perfect!

We have found you via Andrew and are delighted to have arrived. We have signed up as Followers immediately!

Kath Lockett said...

Thank you Jane and Lance - if you're a friend of Andrew's you're most welcome to click on over for a visit.