Over the past few months, in between the wonders of online training I have been writing my memoir of life with my Mum. Every now and again I'll be sharing bits and bobs of my diatribes and hopefully you lovely folks will get something from it. Who knows!
Living a Life Without Mum
By Steven Talbot
Dedicated to my glorious Mum
Maureen Talbot 26.01.1950 - 21.05.2016
Prologue: The Birth
After much pushing and shoving and all-round agony, Steven Talbot, that’s me, finally arrived on the morning of the 14th of February 1973. Mum had endured two days of abject torture and was not too chuffed to be lying, exhausted and riddled with pain. ‘I’ve had a bad back ever since you deigned to finally make your grand entrance, two days late!’ One of Mum’s most prized anecdotes was what happened as the the nurse handed me, swathed in my swaddling clothes, (we were Catholic, it’s how the story went) over to Mum and the nurse uttered the oft said, ‘it’s a little boy’ and Mum’s immortal response (that went down in Talbot / Bromley history) was, ‘I don’t care if it’s a little pig, get it away from me.’
From such an inauspicious first meeting, our relationship, thankfully, was to be pretty legendary. It became the most defining, most wondrous relationship in my life and one that any Mum or son would have been proud to have. Mum came to mean everything to me. You hear tales of sons and their mothers and their close bond. Well, people would often remark that, ‘Maureen and Steven are inseparable.’ And we were. My doctor described it as ‘unusually close’ and apart from the ever so slightly Oedipus sounding subtext, he was indeed quite correct. Unusual in that Mum never ever let me down and had my back 24/7, 265 days of the year, well, apart from when Wimbledon was on the BBC and she’d say, ‘don’t touch that remote control! It’s mine for a fortnight.’
I’m writing this chronicle of our relationship as both a cathartic exercise for me and also to hopefully help you, yes you dear reader. Not everyone can have the immense love that my Mum gave to me, and some people will have fractured, fractious relationships with their parents. If I were to write a book about my relationship with my Dad, Freud himself would scratch his head and say, ‘well frig me, that were a complicated one.’ He probably wouldn’t, would he? I doubt he articulated such things in the Steven Talbot way, still it’s a nice image to convey the complicated nature of my relationship with my Dad and the all-consuming love that I had for my Mum. I anticipate that when you read this, be it cover to cover or in chunks of interesting diatribes, you will come to understand the feelings of loss that all of us will one day endure. None of us are getting out alive and wonderful, intuitive, compassionate parents prepare you for the day when they won’t be there to say, ‘I’m here for you our Steven, no matter what, I’m here for you.’ Mum equipped me with some of the things I’d need for when she wouldn’t be around and it the grand scheme of things, it was only quite recently that I realised what she had been doing all along. Ensuring that I’d have the strength to carry on – and I have. As, hopefully will you.
So, rather than paddling like a maniac against the river of life, I find myself, today, sat here in my metaphorical inflatable dingy; nearly five years since Mum left me and I’m flowing with the river. Yes, there have been some dangerous undercurrents and the odd razor-sharp rock, but the dingy is still afloat, dented, battered and not quite as colourful, but it’s still refusing to go under, still doing its job and this metaphor has gone on for far too long, because after all, if you knew me, you’d know that you’d never find me inside a dinghy. Or a tent, but then you don’t really know much about me, so I’d best draw the prologue to an end and start with chapter one. In which you will get to know more about me and more importantly; my Mum.
Incidentally if you like your chapters to be in chronological order, then you best check the description of each chapter, as I doubt very much there will be rhyme or reason to the initial chapters. Bear with me, the waters are still a bit rocky and as you can tell, once I capture a metaphor, I’m loathe to let it sink or swim, instead, I drown it.