I don’t think our memories are necessarily about being good or bad. I believe it’s the emotion that is attached to them. How we make a moment feel or what we make it mean is what sticks with us.
I have a memory, that by all accounts should be something that I remember as traumatic, but in fact it’s the final moment of the memory that fills me with absolute love. The moment I ran into my mums arms, and I was safe.
It was winter and we still lived in Clifton so I must have been about seven years old. My brother and I often walked to school together – back then, it didn’t seem like a big thing to walk to school on our own. We were told to always stay together until we reached school though.
Part way to school there was a sweet shop, which is where you could go two different ways to school.
The back way, or the main road.
I wanted to go the back way, but my brother obviously wanted to go the main road way. So we split up, neither of us wanting to give in to the other.
Now, you’re probably thinking I’m going to tell you I was approached or attacked by a stranger. That’s not the case. Half way on the ‘back way’ to school I realised I was desperate for a pee. You need to realise that as a girl I was ALWAYS needing a pee. My mum had to plan our trips out around where a toilet was in the vicinity! So, it wasn’t new to me that I had this sudden urge.
Why I did what I did next, I have no idea. I think it was panic. I didn’t think I could make it to school and the only thing I could do was sit in the snow, trying to hold it in. But alas, I peed. Through my jeans and into the snow. It’s quite comical now, and I have no problem sharing this fact but at the time I was devastated and so ashamed.
At this point I didn’t think I could go to school in the state I was in. And so I made the decision to run home.
My mum had a part time job and I knew that not long after we left for school, she got on a bus. I was hoping and wishing that she hadn’t got on that bus yet.
I was in a blind panic, slipping and sliding all the way home, past the bullies on the hill, past the lollipop lady across the road and on the home straight to where I could see the bus stop.
I was sobbing my heart out, desperately hoping my mum was still there. Just as I got to the queue of people at the stop, the bus pulled up. Into my mums arms I fell, so thankful that I managed to get to her.
I have not one memory past that point. I haven idea what happened. I’m sure I was taken home, cleaned up and taken to school, but there is not a shred of a memory that can conclude this story.
I find this fascinating that this memory is so vivid right up tot he ‘point of rescue’. Whenever I think of it, I do have a slight anxiety of what would have happened to me had my mum not been there, I just remember the sheer relief it was to be in my mums arms whilst in such a panic.
My mum is always there for me. She is an amazing person with such a big heart.
Mum, I love you.