This Mother's Day, we're taking the opportunity to tell the mothers of Ireland, and our own in particular, that we love you, we salute you and we thank you. Behold, an open letter to the Irish mother:
Dear Mum/Mom/Mam/Maaaa... (depending on where you hail from),
Thank you for loving me so unconditionally, when others have fallen in and out of love with me. Thank you for believing it would last and knowingly dried my eyes when it didn't. Thank you for believing that there's no amount of money in the world that could replace me and telling me so, every time I went missing in action. Though we might look for it in our boyfriends or girlfriends, husbands or wives, it's you who has made me feel like the most important person in the world. And it's you who has been the most important person in mine. Whether I wore a dress that was too short for my father's liking, or I plucked my eyebrows within an inch of their life, you told me I was too beautiful for words. Whether I've failed or succeeded, you've told me I'm capable of anything. If I wanted to become president, you'd encourage me every step of the way. There is no dream too big to match the confidence and belief you have in me. Whether I raved or ranted, or threw my toys out of the pram, your patience and love was unwavering. While I might have sometimes acted like the spawn of Satan, (I do apologise) you tell me I was nothing but lovely. Thank you for putting my selfishness ahead of your own, for giving me the last bite of our shared dessert, and for genuinely enjoying doing so. Thank you for going easy on me when I endured self-inflicted hangovers, for holding a cloth to my forehead when I was under the weather. And oh, for the tea and toast that only a mother can make.
Thank you for being my tower of strength, but showing your own vulnerability too. Thank you for letting me see you cry, when your brother and your parents passed away, and for letting me be the one to comfort you. Thank you for showing me that it's ok to not be ok, but that a smile would never be wasted. Thank you for the time you sang 'True Colours' to me as I cried myself to sleep. Thank you for confiding in me as a friend, not just a child, and thank you for allowing me to confide in you too. You've never judged me, you've never bitched about me and you've listened to my every quandry. From a broken heart to a bruised knee, there's no problem insurmountable for you and me.
I hope that you're proud of the person I've become, and I hope that I've inherited even half of our qualities. You are relentlessly positive, impressively open-minded and you know more about what's 'cool' than I care to admit. To you, I am forever grateful, and though it might sound like the inside of a clich'd greeting card, there's no mother in the world quite like you.
So that's my mum, sound familiar?
Our mums, the greatest loves of our lives.
Happy Mother's Day.