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Forever 45 – A Tribute to Mum


It would have been my mum’s 70th birthday today. I can’t actually imagine that at all as, for us, mum will always be 45.

Whilst we’ll be raising a glass (or several) this evening and I’ll be enjoying a quiet dinner out with my dad and brother, we won’t be marking that milestone with her. There’ll be no big bash or lavish celebration. Although she would actually have hated that as she didn’t like being centre of attention.

The march of time

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been without her for 24 years. It’s harder still to comprehend that she died suddenly at the age I am now. I knew it was young at the time, but now I’m acutely aware of just how so.

She’s been out of my life longer than she was in it. However, despite the passing of time, she remains my guiding star. When I have decisions to make or am a bit unsure about something I always think what mum might have advised. I do rely more on my own instincts than I think I would if she was still here. However, mum still offers ethereal counsel. To this day she regularly dominates my stories and reminisces. Whilst a lot of the time this brings smiles, often talking about her has the power to bring me to tears still.

Missing out with mum

I was at university when mum died (I’d just turned 21). Whilst we’d always been very close, I’d got to the age where the mother/daughter relationship was melding into a real friendship one too.

We’d always done a lot together as a family. However, we were on the cusp of doing more special mother and daughter things. When I was back from uni, we’d started going out just the two of us for lunches. I took it for granted that there was a lot more of this to come. Now I lament all those lunches we never got to have, all the weekends away or special trips to the theatre that never came to fruition and the fact she wasn’t there on my wedding day. I also miss the mundane; the day-to-day details of life with mum, which I can’t properly recall. When I see photos on socials of friends out with their mums I still get a bit jealous.

Even now I find myself wanting to ask her advice on all sorts of things. Grief never completely ends. It’s waxing and waning, and evolving. So now, probably one of the hardest things to accept is that my children never met her. She’d have been besotted with them. I talk about her a lot and I do feel like my daughters do ‘know her’ as much as they can.

Amazing mum

It’s said a lot, but my mum really was the most amazing mother. She was completely selfless, always putting my brother and I first. She devoted so much time to us. From helping with homework and revision and taking us to interesting places to seemingly solving all our problems and being the ultimate confidant. She knew me better than I knew myself. Mum was our biggest champion and took so much pride in us. I remember an entire wall of our certificates neatly on display. Her love was unconditional.

Mum never treated herself but lavished a lot on us kids. We were probably a bit spoilt if I’m honest. She was a fantastic role model and was always firm but fair. Mum was a lot of fun, but we never got away with misbehaving (although she was instrumental in making me a fake ID when I was 16 or 17)! She taught me to stand up for myself and not suffer fools gladly but equally to treat everyone with respect and kindness. Mum often said I was all things to all people, but that was down to her and what she’d instilled.

Mostly like mother like daughter


I have inherited a lot of mum’s personality traits (and mannerisms) and we looked very similar in our younger years. She also loved a drink and never got hangovers. Sounds familiar! We used to finish off each other’s sentences and were completely on the same wavelength.

I feel, as they’re getting older, my relationship with my daughters is becoming similar to the one she had with me. I open my mouth and sometimes my mum jumps out! Our parenting styles, I think, are pretty alike, and family time is sacred. Probably the biggest difference though is my mum would never go out without my brother and I. I on the other hand have no such qualms.

Dad’s promise

My mum always made my dad promise that if anything ever happened to her he’d do everything possible for my brother and I. Well mum, you’d be pleased to know that he’s stayed true to his word and some. From babysitting, cleaning and hedge trimming to chauffeuring and being our Italian food and wine provider, we couldn’t be without him.

Cheers to you mum and to everything you did for us. You live on through your children and grandchildren. As my very young cousin remarked after she died: “She really charged their [my brother’s and my]batteries.” She did indeed!



About Author

I’m Fran: wife, mother-of-three and freelance publicist. My love for communicating and writing mirrors my passion for trying to be the best mum I can be. I love good food & wine, Italian culture and football and have a keen interest in personal finance. I also blog over on Epsom & Ewell Families and Habyts, and write sporadically for a number of other sites.

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