November is a time for remembering. Guy Fawkes and his crazy plan. The servicemen, servicewomen and civilians that war takes so tragically year on year. Rarely, we are allowed to grieve, to feel loss publicly.
In those quiet minutes of Sunday remembrance, I remember not just those lost in war, but all those I have lost. I remember the horror of the hole they have left behind, and the light their lives have shined into the darkness. In thinking about them, they arrive in my heart afresh, almost but not quite whole. It makes me sad again. I search for my gratitude for their days, moments, words and touch. I have to work to find it and it's a relief when I do.
Our great-grandmothers, our grandmothers, our mothers. There is a legacy in their parenting, in how they loved, in why they loved. We try to echo their behaviour, or to be the very opposite. Sometimes there doesn't seem to be a choice - we are our mothers' daughter as they are theirs. Physically, we become them. I see my grandmother in my mother, my mother in me. I wonder about the great-grandmothers I barely knew, how their mothers shaped them. I have a suffragette badge from my great-grandmother. I remember her as a wrinkled old woman sat in a small room with one good eye watching cable TV. I heard her name most often as a warning not to play with forks. My son hears the same warning years later. But Grancy was so much more than that. 100 years ago, she changed the world for me. She gave me an equal voice. As a woman. As a mother. And I am using it.
This month we're encouraging you to share your memories of a lost mum, gran or great-gran with us on storyofmum. You don't have to write an epic that sums up everything they were to you, just share a moment, a story, or a phrase. Your own mum, or a mum you knew. Take a moment to remember them. Bring them almost but not quite whole into your heart afresh.
I've written about Loz, my inspiring friend and young mother and Ginty, my sunset-chasing open-minded gran. Please join in at In Mumorium.