Here are some fond memories I have of my time spent with Mum over the years....
* Waking next to my parents' bed at a very young age and seeing my Mum sleeping beside me. Just knowing she was there was comforting.
* Mum threading wire through my plaits, then bending them upwards - much to my delight - in preparation for a dress up day at school. My hair was the envy of all the girls in my class that day.
* Walking with Mum down to the local shops (my Mum never did get her driver's license - we walked everywhere), both of us wearing our long, white boots. I felt very grown up, and loved looking just like my Mum that day.
* Mum proudly asking me to dance in front of Grandma (her mum) and smiling as I moved around our lounge room, spinning and twirling.
* Standing beside my parent's bed, watching my Mum put clothes away and asking her what I was getting for Christmas. As I spoke, I slid my foot under the bed and felt the one thing I'd hoped for: a blackboard. (Somehow I knew that's what it was.)
* Watching Mum's determination to buy me a new bed as she circled all the beds on offer in a store, even though Dad seemed to think the one I had was fine. (It wasn't. I guess because Dad never made the beds, he had no idea!)
* Seeing Mum work in the canteen at school. I loved it when she was rostered on and I could visit her at morning recess and lunch, knowing that when I was in class, she was close by.
* Mum letting me lick the wooden spoon whenever she baked something yummy - like a chocolate cake (my favourite).
* Mum spending hours bent over a crossword puzzle - something I've never had the patience for - and encouraging me to help her find a piece.
* Mum making my friends laugh and feel comfortable. It's a credit to my Mum (and Dad) that a lot of my friends found our house a very comforting and relaxed place to spend time at.
* Lying awake on very hot, summer nights in Perth - with no air-conditioning - and hearing Mum get up, go outside and splash in to the pool to cool off. Completely naked.
* Eating watermelon together after a barbecue dinner, sitting in the cool of the patio, enjoying the evening sea breeze.
* Sitting in the kitchen on a bar stool, the morning sun shining through the windows, with Mum carefully placing rollers in my hair that she had heated on the stove. Just because I wanted curls that day.
* Discovering Mum standing at the stove top, fry pan in front of her, a pot of simmering water behind it with a plate resting on top, a pot lid on top of the plate. Then realising what was underneath: my favourite dessert. Crepes. (Always served with lemon and sugar.)
* Coming home from school knowing that Mum would be home preparing a snack for my arrival and ready to hear all about my day. Then later, when I was a grumpy teenager, just sitting and allowing me to rest before asking me any questions.
* Enjoying numerous (often late night) conversations about life and love - either at the kitchen table after a night out, or on the couch - with Mum spending far more time just listening than offering any advice.
* Receiving a beautifully written letter in London from Mum, filled with words of encouragement and inspiration - which I received just days after a phone call I made to her from the south of England - crying over a guy.
* Soon after getting my driver's license, I drove my Mum for the first time to my sister's house, and promptly took the wrong exit off the Freeway. My Mum remained calm, and assured me I could find my way back. I did.
* Watching, amazed by my Mum's calmness and support when I announced Hubby and I were moving to Sydney from our hometown of Perth, knowing full well how difficult it would be for her to see me go.
* Seeing her eyes brim with tears of pride when I walked out of my bedroom, dressed in my wedding dress.
* Seeing her eyes brim with tears of pride when I first presented each of her three grandsons for the first time.
* Enjoying reunions with Mum (and Dad), sipping tea and grazing on all my favourite foods that Mum had lovingly and painstakingly prepared for my arrival.
* Watching her attempt to remain calm, and fight back the tears each time I leave Perth after another visit.
There are so many wonderful memories I have of my Mum, and I feel so grateful to have such a loving, supportive and caring mum. I'm looking forward to making more memories with her.
Happy Mother's Day, Mum. I love and miss you.
And Happy Mother's Day to all mothers. Much love to you this weekend if you are mourning the absence of your own mother and/or the loss of a child.
Thanks to Maxabella for hosting her weekly grateful post.