White hyacinths and pink tulips

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 3rd April 2011

Walking past the florist’s shop at this time of year makes me sad. They’re getting ready for Mother’s Day and the pavement outside is filled with baskets of fragrant white hyacinths and delicate pink tulips that are still in bud.

Mother’s Day is bitter-sweet these days. I long to send my mum flowers wrapped in brown paper and tied with ribbon, fix lunch and catch up with all the gossip over a glass of champagne. But she died nearly seven years ago and instead of dwelling on what might have been I’m going to make the most of being with Lottie and Ned, my lovely teenage children.

The trouble is that even though she’s not here I still want to tell my mum everything. She’d be enthralled to hear I’ve recklessly bought a tumbledown farmhouse in the south of France. And she’d be appalled that it’s damp, derelict and only has half a roof. She’d be staggered by how tall Ned’s grown and how scary he is when he’s whizzing down hills at full pelt on his bike. She’d be so proud of Lottie’s place at university and fierce independence.

My grandmother died at the age of 62 and after that my mum always dreaded Mother’s Day. One year she wrote in her newspaper column: “Don’t say it’s sentimental rubbish, emotional blackmail, commercial exploitation and that your mother knows you love her anyway. I’m sure she does, but the joy she’ll get from a tangible expression of your feelings is more than worth the effort. There were times when I forgot to mark the day for my brilliant mother and what I’d give now to be able to send her flowers by the lorry load.”

As always she was completely right. So today I’m thinking about her and remembering all the wonderful times we had…

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