I was picking my cuticles while I sat in my GP’s office a few months after David died. I was telling him that my milk was drying up and how I was dreading the approach of Christmas. He listened and agreed - Christmas would be shit. Then he gently suggested that worrying about it would make every day leading up to Christmas turn to shit too.
I had to remind myself of his advice when Mother’s Day came around last year. In the lead up, I worried about how we would cope without David. I worried about Mum - how could we celebrate motherhood when one of her precious babies was no longer with us?
You know what?
We survived both days and they weren't nearly as shit as I’d feared they would be.
You know what else?
Knowing we made it through those 'firsts' is comforting. It takes the apprehension out of other 'first' days now. We’re still bereft. We still miss him with every fibre of our bodies, but we can do it. We can mark these occasions, remember his cheeky laugh and his beaming smile. We can even manage a few laughs of our own.
Mum and Dad visited on the weekend. I practised a dish for next week’s Gourmet Garden Cook Off and Mum made a fabulous cake for dessert. It’s her buggerised version of a recipe that she found in an old Bon Appétit magazine.
Raspberry Yoghurt Cake
3 cups plain flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 tbs fresh orange juice
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp finely grated orange peel
1 cup plain yoghurt
2 ½ cups frozen raspberries
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 10 inch round cake pan. Combine 2 ½ cups flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.
Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until creamy. Add the orange juice, 1 teaspoon almond extract, and orange peel and beat to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg. Mix in the yoghurt.
Add dry ingredients to the batter and beat just until blended.
Toss the remaining ½ cup of flour and raspberries in large bowl. Gently fold the berry mixture into batter. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake at 180°C for about 70 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool for thirty minutes in the tin, before turning out to finish cooling.
On Sunday, we’ll light David’s candle. We’ll share lunch and cake. We’ll enjoy each other’s company and be grateful for Mothers.
We’ll also remember those who are facing their first Mother’s Day with someone missing, as we were last year. We’ll remember the Mothers who are without their beloved babies. We’ll remember children (of all ages) who are marking their first Mother’s Day without their cherished mums.
If you fall into this group and you’re feeling anxious in the lead up to Mother’s Day, I hope Sunday isn’t as shitty as you fear. xx
how will you mark Mother’s Day?
does your GP swear?