Growing up, Mother's day was always celebrated with the same anticipated routine: a strong cup of tea, vegemite with toast, a rose handpicked from our backyard garden, all presented on a tray to our awakening mum. Later that morning we would pick more flowers together and carefully arrange small bunches. Wrapping the stems in silver foil and placing them into a plastic bucket was the final preparation for our annual pilgrimage to the local cemetery. We would spend hours, searching for graves of close and distant relatives, perhaps eagerly awaiting our arrival on this special day! It wasn't unusual to pack the thermos, a polony sandwich and deck chair to sit and chat about cupboard skeletons.
My mum died from Alzheimer's disease some years ago. But even up to her passing, I would pick her up from the nearby nursing home, ease her into the front seat of the car, kids in the backseat, tightly holding buckets of flowers and water, dogs jumping over everyone, and begin our day together.
And so today, I have made the annual pilgrimage, not just to the cemetery, but back home to be with my family and share this special day together. It was a long trip home, but family, traditions and memories are just too important.
As it turns out, my dear mum, created a tradition that I've never let go.
Happy Mother's Day from Chateau de Gudanes