... in a Morris Minor

Published on 13 Mar 2018
A blue Morris Minor

It was Mother's Day on Sunday, which for those who have lost their mothers can be a sad day. Harder still perhaps for those who had difficult relationships – or no relationship – with their mother. I passed through the initial stages of grief some time ago but the constant reminders from pop-up ads and supermarket displays to send flowers (that would be some delivery company!) or buy chocolates (my mother didn't really like cut flowers or chocolates!) do somewhat sadden me, maybe because commercialisation seems to, if anything, cheapen that most special of relationships.

It has cheered me up somewhat to know that I am now of an age that some of my friends are young mothers too, and so I can begin to wish them Happy Mother's Day. 

One of the harder thing about bereavement in its later stages is finding ways to remember the person without dragging up the memories of their passing, and the fear that somehow one will forget what they were really like in favour of a simplified version. It's much simpler to keep a few photos and choice anecdotes than to remember the reality of a person's existence, but that's such an impoverishment.

I sometimes try to do something special on Mother's Day, like visiting some beautiful place filled with spring flowers, but the weather was drab and I opted for an urban walk instead. I was amazed to see a blue Morris Minor. It was exactly the same as the one my mother used to drive. She sold it some years past, in the early 2000s I think, and I often wished she'd kept it. I can't drive so it would be pointless to have done so but they are really beautiful cars, and as I looked at this Morris Minor which belonged to someone else, and peered into the window, the clearest memories of my childhood journeys came back, the very smell of the car, the textures of sitting on the back seat, the times when we broke down in it (quite often!). 

In that way the reality of my mother's personality and the time we spent together came back, and I could not help but smile. God was smiling on me that afternoon. I think Mum was too.