Thoughts about a milestone unreached
Yesterday would have been my mum’s 60th birthday. Lately, I visit the cemetery more often, and I’ve thought a lot about mum becoming a grandmother.
Sadly, she never met a grandchild, but I think it’s great that she enabled me to be here now, awaiting my first child.
I’ll admit I’m amused by how long it has taken me to get here and wonder if she ever considered she would be sixty before she would have a grandchild, particularly given how young she was when she made me¹.
Did she ever think about someday becoming a grandmother? Or speculate about where my life — or my brother’s — would lead?
I struggle to imagine my daughter’s future past a certain point. I can picture looking after a baby, but the idea that the same baby may someday graduate, fall in love or leave home, is more difficult. Did mum suffer the same limits of vision?
My baby will never know her first paternal grandmother, only her second². This makes me realise that it’s my job to make my mum real to my daughter, to paint that picture and to communicate how much she meant to me and my brother, my aunt and my grandparents, my father, and so on.
I’m confident I can do this because I’ve already done it. My partner knows the story, knows her impact and her legacy. The work is already started.
¹ I’m now more than twice the age she was when she became a mum. What have I been playing at?
² My amazing step-mother