They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and I think I could write a million about this picture.
The picture below is of my mother, and for those who know me personally know that she is one of my best friends and my biggest supporter (alongside my dad but that is a different blog post completely).
So, without further ado… here is a picture worth a thousand words – Mandy Douglas.
I’m not too sure were to start as I have 24 years of memories with my mum so, I think I will start with the picture above which was taken during a holiday to Turkey where I arrived one week into my parents’ holiday to surprise my dad.
Prior to my arrival my mum and aunt had set up the room for me and got some of my favourite holiday treats in the fridge including iced tea, gherkins and a very specific brand of Turkish biscuits which I don’t know the name of… (weird selection but it is what it is).
Mum waited patiently for me to arrive and whisked me off to hide out in my room while my dad was being distracted by my uncle.
The picture above was taken during a lunch date on that holiday and I can just feel the love and admiration I have for her whenever I look at it.
My mum is a strong lady, one of the strongest I have met to be exact. She has fought cancer and kicked its ass, she has supported me through every shitty decision and tantrum my teenage self could muster over the years, and while she might lose her temper with me from time to time she has never once given up on me and nor has her love for me wavered.
She is my best friend and we have so many memories together from Christmas food shopping where I ‘sneak’ bits and bobs into the trolley to sitting through every crappy movie I have wanted to watch at the cinema.
Now, don’t get me wrong neither of us are angels and we have our arguments but they never last long and every nasty word is forgotten as soon as it leaves our mouths.
As I have gotten older, I have realised how precious she is to me, from meticulously making sure that my dinners are something that I will like, to picking up treats for me from time to time (but only when they have them on offer).
My mum is the type of person who will go next door to buy a tin of beans because they are 2p cheaper (true story) but she will spend her last penny on me if I needed it and I am forever grateful for the sacrifices she has made for me over the years – some of them I’m not even aware of and I believe I never will be.
We have laughed, cried and sang together – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I took her to her first ballet in 2018 in Birmingham, she had always watched them on TV over Christmas, and I wanted to do something special for her so que fantastic seats, the Birmingham Royal Ballet and first-class train tickets (plus a fantastic take away when we finally got home!). I almost forgot the tickets that day and had to run up the house to grab them while she had a cheeky gin in the pub before venturing back to the train station.
It is little memories like this that I have a thousand of and it will take more than a thousand words to write them all down.
Her favourite colour is Royal Blue and she has her tea very milky (we call it chicken soup in our house), she likes her toast burnt and is a weird fan of piccalilli – but it must be a certain brand…
If I am ever in trouble, she is the lady that I call and if I’m having a good day, she is also the person I call. I trust her with everything, and this is a credit to her. She is the one who built our relationship and she is the one who has protected and supported me. She is the person who decided she wanted to have a relationship like this with her daughter and I am so so so so grateful for this, for I cannot imagine my life without her now.
From calling her on my way home from work to the wake up calls she gives me in the morning because she knows I am a serial snoozer – she is the most called person on my phone.
Now, her grasp of technology has always been a little iffy, but she is grasping it slowly and always asks for my help when she needs it even if I am known to huff a puff – I should really work on that, patience is a virtue after all.
While I am writing this, I would like to take the opportunity to apologise to my mum for every hour of sleep she has lost through worry for me and for every frown I have put on her face – I will work to make this right.
She once said to me that she hates to see me upset and does everything she can to make me smile again and I understand that more now and I hate to see her upset and would fight the world if anyone wronged her.
A role model if there ever was one, my mum has taught me confidence, love, and hard work just through me just watching her over the years from her 4am starts, to early nights and non-stop days.
When I was younger our fridge and kitchen door used to be full of my ‘artwork’ and over the years these has disappeared, but I have sneaky feeling they are stashed away somewhere… I might ask her about this.
My family unit is strong with my mum and my dad, and my mum has played a massive role (alongside my dad) in keeping this together, mostly for me but also because when my mum loves, she loves with all her heart and no less, and myself and my dad are truly lucky to be on the receiving end of this love.
There are a million ways to say I love you and my mum says it every day.
So, there you have it a thousand words on Mandy Douglas, my mother, she deserves a million more.
Love you x