This poem is dedicated to all the mums, grandmothers and great grandmothers out there!
There’s a story behind how and why it was written and I’d like to share it with you in the hope that you will be able to relate to it. For a while now, I had been mulling over the idea of writing a poem in time for Mother’s Day and the prospect had taken over my mind. Words and phrases were coming to me at random times in the day and I started to make notes. Finally, I sat down and began to write. It took a long while to collect and jot down everything that I had noted down and everything that was swimming in my head. The message I wanted to convey was very important to me and I needed to make sure that it was clear. It was a message of triumph, it was a message of grand accomplishment and it was a message of hope! I was very aware that in the course of pregnancy, many women undergo a significant change in their bodies. They put on weight, they gain stretchmarks, they feel sick and they put their own lives on hold; but the reward for all this suffering is the miracle that is life.
After giving birth, they are left with the joy that is motherhood and the very reason for their existence is changed forever more. For me it was the same and more. I was and am blessed to have two wonderful daughters without whom my life would lack that sparkle.
‘With every wish, there comes a curse’ sang Bruce Springsteen and oh how true those words ring with motherhood, for your body is changed forever. Many mothers, and I am no exception, are left with a body that is less firm, weakened, scarred and oftentimes overweight. The poem I wanted to write would acknowledge this, but more powerfully, it would acknowledge that there is hope, that you can once again have a body that is joyous and beautiful, even if it is different. To this end, I wrote and I deleted and I wrote until I decided to let some time pass, leaving the unfinished poem in my notebook.
Last Saturday, my youngest daughter who is now at university announced a visit. Instantly, it lifted my spirits and I looked forward to our time together. She bounced into my car as I picked her up and a thought niggled ‘ask her to help you with the poem’ it said. After a beautiful lunch and a catch up about our lives, I broached the subject. Reluctant at first, she agreed to help me and excitement pinched my cheeks at the prospect of the creative exercise we were about to do and of the ironic position this created; a mother and daughter writing a poem for Mother’s Day!
We sat side by side at the dining table with the words I’d written on a sheet of paper in front of us. After a long silence, she said ‘let’s sit over there like the last time …’. I knew exactly what she was referring to even though she didn’t finish the sentence. She wanted us to sit at the small table in my conservatory for that was the first and last time we had ever written anything together. It was for a eulogy for my wonderful father, her grandfather.
Without a second’s thought, we moved to the table and sat opposite each other, just as we had that last time. And, the words flowed, the verses almost forming themselves as we both brainstormed, and wrote and shouted until our throats were soar and our eyes twinkled. The end result was better than I could ever have hoped for and delivered the message in a way I could only have imagined. The elation made us jump in the air and high five, and in that second, I could see my five-year-old daughter again.
We both hope you enjoy reading our poem in the hope that it will give you the belief and courage to change into the best possible version of you! Let’s make this message viral for all the mothers out there!! Big shout out and love to you all!