My real Mum

In the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about who has been there for me and helped shape me to be the person I am today.

I got a good bit of positive feedback from readers when I wrote openly about my Mum a week or so ago, and I’ve wanted to write about who I consider my ‘real mum’ for quite some time now.

So, ahead of Mother’s Day, here goes:

When times were tough at home, from the age of about 9.
I used to go 2 doors along the street and visit our neighbours Liz and Sandy.
Some friendly neighbours who seemed to take me in (when I asked) and helped me to grow up.

Liz was a teacher at a local primary school.
Sandy was a tax man and a Scout Leader.
They had a dog called Whisky, a cat called PD, and just before my 9th birthday, they had a baby girl called Jemma.

I spent most of my spare time around at their house.
At the start, it was for comfort out of our noisy and disrupted house.
And as time went on I spent so much time there, I kind of became a part of their family.

I grew up with Jemma, like the little sister I never had.
Teaching her things, changing her nappies and just being around. I went swimming with them, shopping with Liz, it all just seemed so normal.

I was able to get away from the silences and the arguments at home, into a much nicer environment. And I could talk through my thoughts and upset with Liz.
She was able to teach me like a teacher, and love me like a daughter too.

My Mum didn’t like it, and tried to turn me against Liz.
But it didn’t work, it just turned me more against my mum.
Liz and Sandy even tried to help her, but she was so stuck in her own little bubble, nothing seemed to help her.

Then when Jemma was 3 (and just after the birth of their second daughter Lisa,
Liz and Sandy announced they were moving away to inverness – my world shattered.
Not so far away, but my world seemed to shatter – on the end of a phone or a 2 hour journey away.

I remember after we found out, Jemma came around to our house with a card she’d written (aged 3) saying she’d miss me. And I got a ‘hear no evil’ bear from Liz, which was very apt. What I didn’t realise then was that them moving away would help me even more.

Every school holidays from then on, (and even the odd Christmas) I had the opportunity to go and stay with them. I can’t remember if they offered or I asked (probably the latter), But they took me in as their own.

I remember calling Liz from home and must have taken up do much time chatting. Then spending weeks with them in holiday times.
She was bit like a counsellor or a teacher, but in actual fact she was more like a Mum, a real mum.

I thought about calling this post: my guardian angel,
Or something else to describe Liz,
But in actual fact, she simply became, and is my real Mum.

Always there for me, looking out for me.
Helping me do my best.
Helping me see things for what they were.

And she did it so naturally.
She just is a good mum, a good teacher and a good person,
Who helped shape me into who I am today.

When Liz was 60, I made her a thank you story with pictures on a private website. A forever memory and thank you to her,
For being there for me in a way that no one else was.

And every now and again, I still like to visit her,
or send her flowers, just remind her how special she is to me and how much she helped shaped my life.

This week she got these from me, I didn’t say much in the card, but she knows why she’s getting them.

This week, a colleague at work asked me what I was getting my mum for Mother’s Day, And I realised she doesn’t know the story,
I’m not getting my Mum anything, but I’m got Liz some flowers (and early too).

I’m lucky Liz and Sandy were there, to help me and guide me (along with my Dad and a few others).
I look back and wonder how they could have let me in, I can’t imagine having a 9-18 year old coming around nearly every day. But they did, they just looked out for me and had me around.

Who’d have thought that two people could have such an impact on one little life,
and the truth is, they’ve probably helped many more (just I was the luckiest one to get really close to them all).

I’m so grateful to them, and feel lucky to have had them, and have them in my life. I still love visiting them and being a part of their family.

And I really love it when she serves up her home made macaroni or fish pie – there’s nothing quite like it on this earth. 🙂

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1 Response to My real Mum

  1. Jennifer Dumbreck (Anderson) says:

    Wow lorn, what a beautifully written post – made me cry! They were and still are great people! I am also especially delighted at the photos of Whisky – my first black lab love! Lol!! In my head you’ll forever be the wee girl who was always not just smiling, but grinning! I had no clue of your situation. (But then I was young too!)
    It’s great reading your frighteningly energetic posts on fb & even better to see you’ve not changed a bit with that smile!! – (Despite running the streets of Glasgow in the rain!) 😉

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