Following the passing of my nana over the weekend, today I am celebrating the beautiful bond between mothers and daughters.
I shot down to Wellington on Friday night after receiving the news that my nana was in hospital and it wasn't looking good, and sat with my mum, who was sitting with her mum, holding her hand, all day Friday.
As soon as I got in my car to drive to the hospital, I knew I would have to take on the role of mum for the weekend. When someone else is going through a crisis, mum always jumps in to help in practical ways by doing the things that need to be done like grocery shopping, looking after pets and driving kids around, so on the weekend, I became my mother and did her grocery shopping, drove my sister and her American exchange student to the places they needed to go, looked after the animals, kept the house tidy, and brought mum coffee.
Even though my brother and dad were around supporting us, the whole weekend was a very surreal mother-daughter experience, and it reinforced the fact that even though mothers and daughters drive each other crazy and clash a lot, they're always there when you need each other and no questions have to be asked, we just do what needs to be done and comfort each other with hugs when it's all over.
Mothers and Daughters by my favourite author, Diana Gabaldon, and other best-selling authors Faye Kellerman, Eileen Goudge and Joy Fielding. I haven't read it yet, but I intend to (I know I say that a lot, but I promise I'll get there!)
It also made me think of the teaser I wrote last week for my novel Missing Since Tuesday, and it's quite eerie that I managed to write that without having properly gone through the death of a loved one before, and even more eerie that I got it pretty much right - a lot of the feelings expressed in that small excerpt were true to how I felt being there with my nana from when she was admitted to hospital to when she took her last breath. This next week will be a hard one, but it will also be an opportunity to experience grief, which will help me with the next stage of my novel, since the best way to write about something is to experience it first-hand.
So I am unofficially declaring today as mother-daughter day, and I encourage you, my faithful readers, to appreciate your mother/daughter/grandmother/grandaughter. Give her a hug and tell her you love her or, if you're to far away to hug, give her a call or write her a letter, because you never know when it could be over and you don't fully appreciate what you have until they're gone.