Mothers Day this year had a tragic turn for me. I lost my mum in February of this year. As mother and daughter, we shared a bond. Like other mums/daughters, I am sure we drove each other crazy sometimes , but she was a special woman. Whether it be shopping trips, a quick glass of wine on the way home, a dessert and 2 spoons or whether it simply be a gossip together, there was a special bond. My mum had just turned 21 when I was born so in some ways, we grew up together. She was more than a mum, she was a friend.
So, when I was asked to assist in the writing of the Mothers Day service speech for Adelaide Cemeteries Authorities that would be delivered by a celebrant friend, how could I say no? It would be a fitting tribute to my mum to not only write the speech but to have a photo of her in the slideshow at the end.
Thank you Mum for our memories and thank you Bec, for the honour of writing this with you. Check out the speech below!
Because of her, I can.
We all have jobs in life. Whether that be working in a shop, a bus driver or maybe a nurse or doctor. But the roles in life that are the most pleasurable of all, are the ones with no financial reward. That of a parent, grandparent, husband or wife.
Of course today, we are here to talk about mother’s. A mother is not just the person that gave birth to you. We must be respectful of the ‘mother figures’ in our life too. They maybe an aunt, friend or grandparent. Today is Mother’s Day so please close your eyes and take five seconds and think about your own mum, or of course the mother figure in your life.
Now, open your eyes. What did you see? Did you see a person, the mother or mother figure in your life? Did you have the recollection of a memory? Did it bring up a thought about something your mother is, or was a part of? Or did you see yourself? Did you see yourself doing, or saying something? Is that image of yourself because of you? Or because of her?
Today’s service has been brought to you with a title, a thought if you will. That title is “Because of her, I can…”. I wonder how many of those thoughts you had while closing your eyes, were because of your mother. Every child has that connection to a mother or mother figure but where does that connection begin? Some will tell you it starts at conception. Some will tell you that connection starts at the first time a kick or a flutter happens in pregnancy. Others may not fully feel the connection with their child until after birth, when they hold them for the first time. Every one of those answers is correct and valid.
What is it however, that gives a mother and child that connection? What is that makes a mother be the best person they can be, so that their child can do the same? It’s unconditional love. (this big highlighted section perhaps downsize to make content less)
Unconditional love is the connection and the most powerful weapon in a mothers arsenal. It trumps everything. It doesn’t matter where you live, what you do or how much money you have. If you have unconditional parental love, you have won. Unconditional parent love means you can rule the world in your chosen field or simply be a part of it. Unconditional love gives you courage for adversity and the will to fight it. Unconditional love gives you passion for adventure or passion for people. Unconditional love from your mother gives you the power to do anything, achieve anything. Because of her, you can.
When I asked others to interpret the phrase “because of her, I can….” a variety of responses came my way. I’m going to share a few with you today. A man in his fifties said “because of her, I have a strong work ethic. Because of her , I know nothing in life is free and I have to work for it. Because of her, I know if I can’t afford it, I save for it. Because of her, I know how to cook.” When he was younger, this man was what we may call, a tear away. A bit of a jack-the-lad. Later in life, he realised exactly what his mum had been saying and trying to show him. Now because of that, he is a different person.
A woman in her 70s when asked ‘because of her, I can……’ smiled as she said “because of her, I am a strong woman. Because a strong woman raised me.” What a beautiful sentiment and memories. What a gift to give your child…strength.
A young woman in her thirties said “because of her, I can think for myself and not be pushed around.” This was a young woman who had relationship issues. She learned how to stand up for herself and believe not only in herself, but that the world could be a better place. She learned that not all men behaved that way. Her mother taught her that.
A woman in her fifties when asked the question replied “because of her, I bake. Because of her, I learned not to be scared in the kitchen and that I could achieve what I set out to do.” This woman had been nervous about baking with mum when she was younger. She is one of seven brothers and sisters so I imagine a little sibling rivalry may have occurred. Now she bakes and taught her thirteen-year-old to bake as soon as she could.
A variety of children, my own included tell me that ‘because of her….I can achieve anything. I believe I can and am empowered to do it. Because of her…I know how to treat others and think of others. Of course one of my own kids said ‘because of her, I remember to fill up my water bottle!’
A lady I spoke to shared how she dealt with her mothers cancer diagnosis. She was 13 when her mum was diagnosed and shared this via her blog: “When the oncologist told mum of her diagnosis, she said okay, well chop it out, feed it to the chooks and let’s keep going. She endured months of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy to treat it. When her hair was falling out, she shaved it , so she could control what she was able to control. Headscarves and hats were part of the wardrobe. She still went to work. When life beat her down, she fought back, loved harder, laughed louder, dressed more fabulously and simply kept going. Because of that, I was able to do the same when my life took a turn. I controlled what I was able to control and looked for the glimmers of hope.” What a gift to give your daughter! The ability to keep going when all around is falling apart.
The final one I will share with you is a 49 year old woman who lost her mother on 24 February 2021. She answered this question with a smile and said: “Where do I even start? My mum was a constant in my life until a few weeks ago. She was there throughout my childhood. She never went to work, she was a stay at home mum. That was a decision she made with Dad. If she was having her children, she would be there for us. She was! She took us to school and was there for dinner every night. She was there for homework, going to friends. She was there through my teenage years. Most of all she was there through the quality times in my personal life. Meeting my (now late) husband, my wedding and watching me, advising me in being a step mother to two children. I enjoyed 30 years of a nursing career to which she would tell everyone ‘my daughter does a proper job you know.’ When my husband was sick, she supported me with daily texts and calls. She was there.
Then I started writing. She encouraged that idea, the career I wanted to chase and she read everything I wrote. She encouraged me to learn more. She emailed celebrities to ask them to let me interview them (sadly that bit didn’t work!). But most of all, she supported me. It’s because of her, I can write. It’s because of her, that I have the support. It’s because of her, that I was able to put a published poetry book in her hand. It’s because of her, I can say, her daughter is the author.
Because of her, I’m who I am. Because of her, I can do anything. Thanks mum.”
There is a huge variety of answers but the core values are the same. Because of mum, people felt that they could do anything and achieve anything, even at the worst possible times. I have heard a saying that “life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother”. How true is that statement?
If we are incredibly lucky in life, if our mothers are with us for many, many years. However, the one thing in life that we can be sure of, is that at some stage, we know we will be mourning their loss. Losing a parent is a difficult process. They are the first man and woman in your life. For girls, mums can be best friends, shopping partners, dinner partner or just a simple gossip over a glass of wine. Losing that, puts you in a whole new world. Now Mum is not there to ask questions to. Mums not there to go shopping with. It’s a big gap in your life.
Losing a mother is losing an identity. We’ve all heard the saying that ‘it is far better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all’ but we have grief with us after that loss. The deeper the love, the stronger the grief. Queens Elizabeth II said “grief is the price we pay for love” and she is not wrong. We cannot outrun grief. We cannot escape it. We must wade through it. For each of us here, that grief will be different. For each of us, that grief will change us. There is no notebook or rule book for grief. We are writing it ourselves. I would like to use this moment to share a poem with you.
Your Mother is always with you! ©
By: Deborah R Culver
She’s the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street.
She’s the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick, the fragrance of life itself.
She’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not feeling well.
She’s your breath in the air on a cold winters’ day.
She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colours of a rainbow.
She is Christmas morning.
Your mother lives inside your laughter.
She’s the place you come from, your first home.
She’s the map you follow with every step you take.
She’s your first love, your first friend, even your first enemy.
But nothing on Earth can separate you.
Not even death.
Mother’s. We have one. We are one. We want to be one. We may have inherited a family and be a step mother. Whichever one of those you fit into, let me remind you of this.
It’s because of you, that your family are born.
It’s because of you, that they know love.
It’s because of you, that they learn to walk, talk & read.
It’s because of you, that they have a home.
It’s because of you, that they have a family.
It’s because of you, that your children can do anything they want.
I would like to take a moment to pay tribute to our mothers that have passed away. Here is our tribute side show.