May 11, 2014

love post dedication - mother dearest

My mum is obsessed with herbal remedies. I'm not sure how it started, but I know that she holds herbal remedies responsible for many significant things in her life.

I remember as a child if I had a cold, or headache, it was different oils she would give me to smell or burn, rather than panadol or cold and flu tablets. That progressed to bark formula pills for period cramps, and flower oils if I was having a down day. Feeling sick? Let's pick out a herbal tea to make you feel better. Unexplained illness? Not to worry, mum has an oil for that!

She is an advocate of Chinese medicine, and claims it was the only thing that worked when she decided she wanted another child after me, and after years of trying little James came along, as promised by her Chinese doctor. And now she's approaching that stage in her life that every woman dreads, the Chinese herbs have made a reappearance!

You may think its a little strange - I know my friends certainly have doubts - that she has so much faith in herbs (read: hippie medicine) and what they can do for you, but its something I have grown up with. While I don't believe everything she tells me, call it gen y's persistent skepticism, I can't deny what her little concoctions have done for me in the past. And perhaps I might sometimes prefer the fast acting panadol to a slow release oil burner, but she has instilled in me practical and life lessons that I know will follow me through.

Her encouragement to listen to and learn from what my body is telling me has helped me recognise and fight back against demons I have battled with in the past, and her support through those times was unwavering. Without this I am sure that I could have struggled for years, not knowing or understanding what was happening. The strength she has displayed throughout my life despite challenges showed me how it is possible to accept, move on and keep going.

And as I sit here now, with my freshly brewed peppermint tea (thanks mum!) reflecting on our relationship, I know it was definitely her strange herbal remedies that got us through. I was a brat in high school, frustrated and moody, refusing to listen to her. At certain times though she would offer little 'pick-me-ups' -  tea, the latest oil blend to drop under your tongue to make you happy...etc. When she did this, I knew it was her way of gently reminding me she loved me, and when I accepted these gifts she knew I was reluctantly telling her I did too - and I was sorry I was being a teenage cliche.

Later this year I will be embarking on a journey that will mean lots of things, one of them being the longest period of time I'll spend away from my mum. So on this of all mother's days, I want her to know she is the strongest, most caring and most important woman in my life - and I love her to pieces.

Let's drink (herbal tea) to each others health!

Happy Mother's Day