To My Mother(s)

I hadn’t seen my mam since her primary alien exorcism. She’s doing really really well, we know she is in very safe hands and the surgeon has visited and told her she is recovering at a good pace – we are already texting each other about a chillout night in front of the TV. Saying that, I miss her. I miss her like mad.Every day. Which is weird as usually we live nearly 3 hours apart and see each other every couple of months. But with the alien nestling its grubby self inbetween us, suddenly being right next to each other becomes imperative.

Before the alien came, me and my mam would phone each other nearly every day to talk about what we’d been up to. Since the alien, this has been a little difficult what with my mam being morphened up to the eyeballs, my mam’s schedule being formulated by pain-levels, blood pressure tests, feeding times… oh and that massively massive surgery that took place only 4 days ago . I’m not complaining; I know it is all necessary and part of the whole plan, but  I just can’t wait for her to be well enough for us to get back to…us, without the alien getting in the way (pesky thing).  I went to see her today and it’s fair to say she’s feeling the same way too.

But yesterday I was really missing her.

I know she is only 1.5 hours up the road and we still text, Facebook and occasionally drink bland hospital coffee together, but when a force like Lorraine Harper is even slightly absent from your everyday, you quickly begin to notice. My Mam, for those who don’t know her (and if you don’t, why the hell not?) is incredible. Lorraine Frances Harper was once the heart of ‘The Loudest Library in West Cumbria’, she volunteered to make costumes for my local amdram nearly 10 years after I left, she bakes bread and butter pudding for church fates and makes her infamous mince pies for other people’s Christmases. Even on the day we received booking confirmation on the alien’s unplanned visit she, along with my dad and sister, came to the theatre to help finish the get-in for my upcoming show.

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Proof of that typically farcical Harper moment.

If she’s got it, you can have it. If you need it, she’ll help you find it. If you need a friend, she’s the best. If you need a mother…well she’s mine (but I’m willing to share). My mam is loud, loving, unforgettable and 100% unashamedly herself. Just by her being her true self, I have learned a lot and have a great deal to be thankful for. Lorraine Harper has been my role model for 27 years and continues to be (in fact even more so now that she is kicking alien ass!).

Note for Lorraine: please read above points and take note of them 🙂

13466022_10153529601146345_2655210567834888469_nAs I missed my mam yesterday, I felt the alien-shaped hole appear, but it was quickly and quite serendipitously filled by another mother in my life. At midday I saw a post on Facebook from a close friend of mine, Jen. Someone who started as a colleague, quickly became a wonderfully close friend of mine and through a shared love of values, being open, mutual encouragement, acting based parlour games and  excessive swearing, Jenny Jones became another role model of mine. Back to the Facebook post. It was of Jen getting ready for York Pride, with her newborn baby and with her ‘Love is Love’ T-shirt on she was proud to be an ally; proud to be herself and proud to help carve a future world where her son could be free to be him. I am indeed proud of her.

That post from Jen, made me think of all the other Lorraine-esque mothers that are in my life, who are making my world a better place, just by being themselves.

The almost mother-in-law who reminds me that “it’s OK to have silly moments and not to feel as though they have to be justified.”

The mother of my goddaughter who has raised a beautiful girl who, when she found out about the alien visit sent me video and a phone call to tell me she loved me and hopes my mummy gets better soon.

The newly pregnant mother-to-be, who includes me in the excitement of her news, but equally wants to be updated on our alien news.

The second mother (next door neighbour growing up) who wanted me to call her right away. This phone call was to remind me that I was her son and she wanted to give me a cuddle.

The M.I (Mothers Institute) on Facebook who post their love, their thoughts, their everyday happenings and their Churchill inspired motivational quotes on an hourly basis.

The combo mum, who was celebrated yesterday for being mum and dad to her little boy. Just makes me proud to see her strength.

The many mothers (both literally and metaphorically) at work who give me permission to drop things, because life is more important.

The mothers who have their own hectic lives to balance, but somehow know the right moment to text ‘thinking of you and your mam’.

I know I have thanked everyone already (and keep doing so),but I want to again. Until the alien is obliterated, my mam needs all her energy to fight it and we need all our energy to be there for her. With all the mothers in my life taking a bit of the strain, even when I miss her I can be just as strong as she is being. Thanks.

Just like I will never be able to truly thank my mam for everything she has given me, I will never be able to truly thank you all for your support, but if it’s any consolation you get the Lorraine stamp of approval.

Take a moment today to be thankful for all the mothers in your life. And if you can – tell them.

Dissclaimer – I know today is Fathers Day. I was supposed to post this blog yesterday, but got distracted by takeaway and OITNB. Don’t worry avid followers, a blog about my dad (AKA papa Harper, Captain Kenny) is coming soon.

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