My Mother was a beautiful woman, inside and out. A staunch Catholic, she was somewhat disappointed when I navigated my own way out of any faith and declared myself "agnostic." But she just told me,
"Well, you have to make your own decisions in life."
I could see the disappointment in her eyes though, but in spite of that she genuinely meant it when she told me that she wanted me to find my own way.
She was equally disappointed when I decided at 21 that I didn't think I would ever get married.
"I just don't think it's for me."
"Well, as long as you are always happy, son...."
Again, I could see the disappointment in her eyes but knew that, as ever, she meant it when she said she wanted my happines above anything else.
My Mother's eyes always had that quality about them - to completely reveal the contents of her heart. She could never hide how she truly felt. That's how I know how disappointed she was not to ever be a Grandmother.
Some days after we found uot that the Doctors could do nothing about her cancer, we talked about whether there was anything she wanted to do, that was still feasible while she somewhat fragile.
"Nothing that's possible in my time," she told me.
"The only thing I feel like I haven't really fulfilled is being a Grandma."
There was a moment or two of silence and then, as always she did, she focussed on something positive, adding,
"But I have been a blessed Mother."
The most painful thing for me in all that, is that she was a Grandmother by then. I just didn't know it... so obviously, nor did she.
I know how much she would have loved my son, his cheeky grin, his quick wit and his beautiful childlike outlook on the world. She and my son, they would have been the best of friends. He has a way of getting his way with women - my sister, my girlfriendm my female friends.... he's just got a way of getting what he wants. And as much as my Mother could be strict, she'd have melted when he gave her 'the look.'
Anyway, in case you're wondering where all this came from, Chloe, my son and I were watching a film last night when he suddenly asked, "Do you think your Mum would have liked me?"
"She'd have absolutely loved you," I told him honestly and without hesitation.
My sister's baby is 16 months old now too. He's another cutie and my Mother would have adored him. I called my sister this morning and told her about my son's questioning.
"You know what we should do?" she suggested, "We should get the old video tapes converted to DVD and have a home movies night with the boys."
Tonight, I will dig those tapes out and take them to get converted and this weekend I'm going to 'introduce' my boy to his Granny.
I also suggested that he could write her a letter and that we'd take it to her grave and leave it for her.
"Good idea, Dad," he answered. "I think I should tell her all the things I like."
So Mum....or should that be Granny, meet your grandson.