I went to dinner with some work colleagues and a work friend’s partner who I saw a few weeks before asked why I always talked about my Dad and not my Mum. There was too much to say so I kind of trailed off and didn’t really say much about it. I see my Mum quite a lot and my Mother got me into tea when I was young. We would have a few pots of tea a day and my own interest in tea has expanded a lot in the past few years. I talked about my Mum in my memoir and I used allusions to television shows and gardens being tended to. My Mum is well-liked by family and friends. She can be blunt and knows what she likes. This bluntness can be seen in any number of ways. You can take it well and laugh it off, or take it badly and feel criticised.
My Dad kind of mentally disappeared for about ten years and that really hurt me because he showed a lot of love and affection when I was quite small. He could also be scary at times but when he was normal he was quite loving. My Mum never disappeared so I didn’t get that emotional rift. She wasn’t as affectionate as my Dad was but she was present and providing. When I was young and had started getting serious about drawing, I must have been eight or nine and I would show my Mum a drawing and get zero response. Some of these drawings took hours. I had started to draw from life, not for art reasons but simply to see if I could faithfully render some scene from life. I actually had no idea about art or drawing from life. I saw it as a challenge.
I soon discovered it was almost impossible to draw every leaf within a framed view of life. My Aunty Betty who also did art and singing throughout her life got me a book on drawing. Soon I discovered that artists didn’t draw every leaf or every detail from life. So I kind of felt like I couldn’t get a lot of support or encouragement in my own interests from my Mum. When I was young I did hold it against her and there are other things that transpired that I won’t go into because I don’t want to sit around trying to be the judge and jury. All I can is it wasn’t good and I also held that against my Mum for years into my twenties. I have had children of my own and know I have been far from perfect. When I got older I kind of let a lot of the past go.
I did have a lot of good times with my Dad and a few laughs which I was grateful for and I always made time for my Mum and visited her regularly. Because my Mum lived closer I probably saw her more than Dad. So I appreciate her and all she has done for me. When I was constantly getting into trouble with the police my Mum was always there and never really seemed too fazed. It is hard when you get a call from the police station at 3am. My Mum though has some of my art hanging in her home so I guess in the long run she appreciated it. Now I only have Mum left so it’s best to let the past go. Like I said, I already did that a while ago and I do appreciate my Mum. Maybe if she had been unwell and out of action for a decade I might have had more to say.