Scottish Daily Mail


Dear Mum, thanks for everything

- Bel answers readers’ questions on emotional and relationsh­ip problems each week. Write to Bel Mooney, Scottish Daily Mail, 20 Waterloo Street, Glasgow, G2 6DB, or email A pseudonym will be used if you wish. Bel reads all letter

YESTERDAY my mother reached the magnificen­t age of 90, but since by the time you read this I’ll be in Zanzibar, we had to celebrate her coming-ofage a tad early.

In all, we had 18 people at table — the youngest 19 months and the oldest ... well, I’m not sure, because I can’t ask Mum’s friends their ages!

Corks popped, glasses clinked and my two offspring made a short speech each, praising their lovely Nan who did so much for them when they were growing up. Meanwhile, two adorable great-grandchild­ren bestowed fresh liveliness on all, as the next generation always will.

None of us like getting older, but that’s no reason not to celebrate birthdays, no reason not t o st op and rejoice.

I know very well I have been privileged in being born to parents who were attentive, generous and selfless — and continue to be so now. Many letters (some sad, some bitter) to this column deal with the opposite and it makes me so sad some people do not know what I’ve been lucky enough to experience.

No wonder I place the family at the centre of all I do. How else could it be, when I learnt that lesson at my mother’s knee — and my father’s, too?

I owe them everything. Above is a picture of my mother in 1944, two years before I was born. She was a typist at Crawford’s Biscuits in Liverpool, my father was an electricit­y meter tester and they already had my brother, but no home of their own.

So they lived with my grandparen­ts, made do and mended, worked overtime, scrimped, saved and sacrificed . . . which was typical of that brave D-Day generation.

I salute them all, as I send my mother birthday love — and endless thanks.

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