Boxing Day, Santo Stefano, 26th December, but most of all the day my mother was born. In 1922, before the days of disposable nappies and central heating. She made it to the grand old age of eighty nine and she was one of those people that made the world a nicer place. She touched the lives of all who were lucky enough to meet her.
She wasn't afraid of anything and only looked for the good in people. She loved being alive. That might sound a funny thing to say, but you see she had Multiple Sclerosis.
She had a secret weapon though to fight her condition. My Dad.
All my Italian relatives loved her too and yesterday they broke into a spontaneous song of 'Tanti Auguri a te', dedicated to my mum. My little granddaughter met her and remembers her vividly. One day she looked at me and said, 'Poor you, not having your mummy anymore.' That's it really isn't it? Your mum and your dad are your anchors.
Here is a poem for the day by Ann Taylor (1782 - 1866) which is dedicated to her mother. So to all mothers everywhere today, including me...
Who fed me from her gentle breast,
And hushed me in her arms to rest,
And on my cheek sweet kisses prest?
When sleep forsook my open eye,
Who was it sung hushaby,
And rocked me that I should not cry?
Who sat and watched my infant head,
When sleeping on my cradle bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed?
Who ran to help me when I fell,
And would some pretty story tell,
Or kiss the place to make it well?