For years my Mum used to do a series of annoying things which would bug me. I would be on her case to stop, or whine at her, or we would simply laugh at each other and giggle about how ridiculous we could be. Strangely, now that my beautiful Mum has passed on, I have now taken up the gauntlet for doing her annoying things. I catch myself replicating my Mums quirky behaviour, and I smile to myself. Wow, I am so much like my Mother. Here are some examples:
1. I now carry my handbag everywhere. I mean everywhere. My mum used to take her handbag on the beach and sling it over her shoulder and hold it with a vice like grip as we strolled along the sandy shoreline. I used to wonder why she was so obsessed to bring it with her; now I do the same thing! It just doesn't seem right to leave it behind.
2. I have a weird obsession with Jellybeans. My Mum was a Diabetic for 36 years of her life, since she fell pregnant with me, gestational diabetes it was called; and unfortunately it never went away. Everywhere she went she carried a little bag of Jellybeans, always the multi-coloured ones, for a quick sugar fix. She would transfer them into a zip lock bag; another of her favourite obsessions (also mine now too); and stuff said zip lock into said handbag which would go everywhere. Even on beach walks. And guess what? I never before liked jelly beans, I don't even remember eating any of my mums in her permanent stash. I now buy bags of black jelly beans and consume them by the mini bag full. I guess it reminds me of her, and I love the aniseedy flavour, not so much the dark purple tongue as a result, but the emotional attachment to Jellybeans, really is quite unique.
3. My Mum must have been Greek, as she was delusional with her use of Windex the glass cleaner; aka everything and anything cleaner. Remember that movie 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' where the Mum had an obsession with windex and it was used to cure everything? Well this woman could have been my Mum. And now as I grab for the windex, with its soothing blue clear solution, it becomes my solution for all cleaning problems! Surfaces, windows, table tops, even stove tops. In my cleaning frenzy, even the floor gets a few squirts and a wipe over. You see it doesn't leave streaks, like my Mum, I hate streaks. Streaks are bad. Windex very good.
4. Oil of Ulan face moisturiser. My Mum was a creature of habit. More so than anyone I know. She would always for years buy the same products, and then if they discontinued, which they did over the years, she would have a breakdown or engage in a tremendous tanty (slight exaggeration, but hey she can't deny it!). Some very demanding calls would ensue to suppliers in hunt for the last stock item, anywhere, 'maybe on a lonely dusty forgotten shelf?' I would often try new products and be adventurous with hand soap flavours or shampoos or food or anything new and exciting in general. But not anymore. I am now as obsessed with my Mums favourite type of face cream. The floral smell, smooth non greasy texture and delightful light rosy pink shade remind me of my Mum every time I dab the stuff liberally on my face.
5. My Mum and I are both creatives. We love to see thoughts materialise before our eyes with our own individual creative flair. Without a project, my mum was listless and sad; she always needed something to channel her energy in a creative way. My main steadfast memory of her is seeing her sitting at the dining table creating a new masterpiece, always engaged and focused and enthralled in something she was working on. I don't remember one occasion where she sat and did nothing. She was always doing something! And that something was often creative and unique and beautiful. She taught me in life that the power is in creating, nurturing that creative internal spark and making it a reality. And then sharing it with others so they too can garner joy from what you have made. Just like I am doing with my writing and photography. When the creative energy spark hits, you can't eat, can't focus on anything else, you can't even sleep. She used to get like this too, completely obsessed with completing a project, often staying up very late into the night and rising early again to keep going. I am now doing this. Living my passion feels awesome, I thank my Mum for role modelling this behaviour to me, and for encouraging me to be inspired and motivated to be creative.
There are so many examples I could share. It is amazing how we become such replicas of our parents. I feel very grateful that the annoying things my mum used to do, are now dear to me. Every day she is in my mind, and every day I realise even more how much she taught me, mostly indirectly and by example. Thanks Mum, I wouldn't be the handbag obsessed, jellybean loving, windex fanatic, creatively inspired person without you. Love you to the moon and back; love you more.
My parents would call me Anit in a very unusual Latvian accent, sounds more like 'Unneet'. I miss hearing my name being called.
With love, Anit xx