Another Year, Another Mother’s Day….

It is March 30th 2014 – Mother’s Day is here again.

As many of you readers understand, Mother’s Day without a Mum is one of the worst milestones of them all. Birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries are bad (very bad), but this one involves a marketing frenzy for the whole month leading up to it. Cheers for that.

Shops are overflowing with cards and posters with the word, ‘Mum’ or ‘Mother’ everywhere you look and with it comes the first blow – a kick to your stomach. You take a sharp intake of breath and decide not to throw something at the window display. Then come the emails, ‘Treat your Mum’, ‘Make every day Mother’s Day’ – which attack you like punches to the face, leaving you feeling weaker with every one. A left hook hits you out of nowhere as some even personalise the message, ‘Rachael, show Mum some love on this Mother’s Day’. SHUT UP. As soon as you get up from that knock out, you shudder as you realise that on Mothering Sunday, if you choose to keep busy and get out and about you will be surrounded by family outings. Great.

It is a very, very sad day – another brutal reminder and, as I described in the book, probably a very likely time for that ‘uncontrollable storm of grief’ to hit you again. Yeh, we all know that being angry and bitter doesn’t help anyone. But Mum told me to let myself feel whatever I feel. And today, I feel very p*ssed off. And I miss her. And that is just how it is.

I do feel lucky though, once again, to have 60 Postcards as my beautiful distraction to help me through days like this – with milestones as one of the main reasons I started this project. As this blog began on Mother’s Day last year – I have decided to do a recap post with a timeline of events from that trip to Paris until now…..

60PostcardsTimeline

 DEC 2012 – THE PARIS TRIP

1 Tribute, 1 City, 4 Days, 11 friends, 60 Postcards.

Paris-60PostcardsIt all started in Paris in December 2012, ten months after I had lost my mum to bowel cancer. She was 59 years old, she had lived a happy and healthy life and then sixteen days was all it took from the diagnosis to the day we lost her. My world fell apart, as did my heart, and it was as her 60th Birthday approached that I thought about trying to do something a little different to deal with my grief and the looming milestones. I scattered 60 Postcards around the City of Love in her memory – one for every year of her life – and I left a message on about why I was there, in remembrance of Mum, leaving my email address on the bottom in case anyone was to find one. I didn’t think anyone would. Surely not? But, they did. Bonkers.

MAR 2013 – THE BLOG

Three months after my trip was when I finally plucked up the courage to start-up the blog. Starting a blog shouldn’t have been that daunting really, but I wanted it to be a very honest journal and so I knew that I would be talking about just why the project began. I would be talking about ‘grief’. Sounds so miserable doesn’t it. I think if anyone had told me to check out a blog which covers the topic of grief here and there I would have told them (politely) to, ‘Jog on’. But I hope I have been able to provide a little more light through the postcard magic and the incredible people who I am meeting along the way, and continue to with every week.

APR 2013 – NYC 

NYC-60PostcardsNot long after the set up of the blog, I headed to NYC with my friend Caroline to continue the project. It was all thanks to a girl who found one of my postcards in Paris – she took it back to NYC and I thought it was only right that I followed my postcard and left 60 around that city too. Before long Paris, NYC and London were all linked up through a series of serendipitous events. I have never really told the full story of NYC. I will do one day, though. And I hope to head back out there very soon!

SEP 2013 – THE DEAL

When Simon & Schuster offered me a book deal, I totally freaked out at first. My reaction was an odd one. I cried a lot. I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing and all I wanted to do was speak to my main advisor – Mum. Still, after great chats with my Dad and sisters, Sarah and Hannah, I decided that there was no way I could miss out on this opportunity. And so I signed on the dotted line, and signed away my social life for a few months to write the book!

FEB 2014 – THE BOOK RELEASE

BookreleaseWriting the book was a very steep learning curve and once that was done, I was oh-so-curious about the publicity side of things. I decided not to prepare for any of the radio, TV or paper/mag interviews, which probably sounds a little ridiculous. But, I know this project inside out and thought best to give genuine answers on the spot.

Seeing 60 Postcards in bookshops is still bizarre (and lovely). In fact, I just popped into Foyles to check it was still there. It is. (Weirdo.)

MAR 2014 – NOW….

And now it is Mother’s Day again. Blimey – what a year it has been.

I am very keen to do a blog/book reader meet soon. It would be an informal event and I would hold it somewhere for a few hours for people to drop in, have a coffee and a chat. I want to hear about you – your stories, projects, inspirations and I want you to be involved in my plans and ideas for the next stage for 60 Postcards. Now, where to hold the meet! I am beginning to look (central London) and if anyone has any ideas for spaces then please drop me a note at 60postcards@gmail.com!

You see, after reading this back – I really do feel a little less p*ssed off now. Mum would love this, she really would. I will be scattering a few postcards as I go today to wish others a happy Mother’s Day. And then I will be meeting Caroline, Jack, Emily and Stuart for a drink. If you have read the book then you will know exactly who those people are and how this couldn’t be a better day to catch up with them.

Wishing all the Mums a lovely day and to those missing theirs, I hope you get through it OK.

Thinking of you all.

Love, Rxxx

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Another Year, Another Mother’s Day….

  1. Hi sweetie! Was hoping to bump into you on the canal today to give you a big hug! How are you doing today? Hang in there! Hugs! Naomix

  2. Lucky enough to still have my Mum here and have just said bye after a lovely day together – but have sent her off with a copy of 60 Postcards which I bought her for today (from Foyles no less, with her very own Paperchase postcard ready!) We’re from Cardiff originally and Mum used to run a shop in Wimborne so she’s already looking forward to your story. I know she’ll love it as much as I did.
    (I’ll let you know!!)
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Yesterday was my first mother’s day without my mum (she died in January after an incredible fight against cancer) – it wasn’t easy but had a lovely day, albeit bittersweet, with my dad and brothers, as well as two little nephews. It’s heartbreaking but life does go on and I am trying to keep smilingt…

  4. Hi Rachel,
    I know how tough it is this time of year…I’m happy for all the lovely people who have lovely Mum’s…but I lost mine 2 1/2 years ago to bowel cancer and I really struggle with Mother’s Day…just a reminder that I no longer have mine and that breaks my heart. Hope you got through it ok. Vicky x

  5. Lucky to have my Mum still and I also gave her your book as a gift. Your book is a constant reminder to make the most of her everyday and to be so thankful. Thank you x

  6. Hi Rachel,
    I am currently reading “60 Postcards” and wanted to write to say what a wonderful project I think it is. It is a beautiful expression and testament of the bond you shared with your Mum.
    Your story has some echoes with my own; my Mum died weeks after being diagnosed with liver cancer, 10 years ago now. At times, I have had to put the book down as it has stirred some long forgotten/suppressed memory, but I am so glad I have persevered. I am fascinated to learn how 60 postcards has enabled you to reach others and turn what is an incredibly painful experience into something life affirming. Keep writing! Rebecca x

  7. Hi Rachael,
    I am currently reading “60 Postcards” and wanted to write to say what a wonderful project I think it is. It is a beautiful expression and testament of the bond you shared with your Mum.
    Your story has some echoes with my own; my Mum died weeks after being diagnosed with liver cancer, 10 years ago now. At times, I have had to put the book down as it has stirred some long forgotten/suppressed memory, but I am so glad I have persevered. I am fascinated to learn how 60 postcards has enabled you to reach others and turn what is an incredibly painful experience into something life affirming. Keep writing! Rebecca x

  8. Currently reading 60 postcards as fast approaching the 10 year anniversary of my Mum passing. One day she was here, twelve days later she was gone! I miss her, she never got to meet by beautiful baby boy. Life does go on but you never forget and at times when it hurts bad, it’s as raw as it was the day she went! Remembering my Mum JB 20th April xxxx

  9. Hi Rachel,

    I’ve literally just finished reading your book and wanted to pop by to say hi.

    I still have my mum, but lost my dad quite suddenly nearly three years ago. Your book was both hard to read and also a real comfort. So many of the things you said rung true with me – thoughts I’d had or things I’d shared with my sister.

    I have my postcard and I am going to write it in tribute to my dad, I just need to think of somewhere to leave it.

    Thank you for writing such an honest book and for sharing your story which I am sure has and will help more people than you can imagine.

    Best wishes,
    Rachel x

  10. It was my first mothers day without my lovely mumma. Inspired by you I started my own blog. Would love to know what you think. Its been so good for my mind to help sort it.

  11. Hi Rachael

    I am Kayleigh and I found your book in the local book shop I was just looking at books trying to find an interesting but meaningful book, I saw 60 postcards the name sounded interesting and the cover is pretty so I bought the book..

    It’s such an inspiring and wonderful book makes me realise how special my mother is and how sometimes I take her for granted.. It’s scary to think how life is so short because in an instant everything could be gone..

    Recently my mothers partners cancer came back so I can relate to your story he has carcinoid cancer a very rare cancer..

    Keep strong keep up with all the inspiring. I didn’t find just one postcard but I found 60 postcards.

    Xxxxxx

    Regards

    Kayleigh

  12. I’ve been meaning to visit you here ever since I read an article in a magazine (I forget which one sorry) about your postcards and blog. When I read your comment about “mother’s maiden name” as a verification question I felt completely validated for feeling like I had been slapped in the face with that too.
    Mothers day is such a tough day, I have my own children trying to make it nice for me too, which is in equal measure lovely and difficult.
    You started your project at the moment my mum passed away, I now blog as a direct result of her passing but in a very different way to you. I find your story inspirational, sorrowful and beautiful and it has really helped me feel less alone in finding a blog helps. I hope all that makes sense.
    Thank you.

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