I remember a white fur coat my mother used to wear, the way it swished elegantly when she walked. And a pair of silver shoes that I would pull from the back of her wardrobe and clumsily tug onto my little feet, attempting a sophistication like hers.
My mother, beautiful, stylish.
I remember listening to the stories she read to me every night at my relentless request, engrossed in every syllable, the way her voice curved around the words with an enthusiasm that made any tale enjoyable.
My mother, creative, inspiring.
I remember looking up at my mother, wondering how she knew the answer to everything. How she always knew the right thing to say. How she always had the smartest words and solutions. I was, am, in awe of her wisdom, her patience.
My mother, intelligent, thoughtful.
I remember every day looking forward to dinner time, to a meal that was certain to be delicious - a dinner made with fresh ingredients and exotic flavours.
My mother, a wonderful cook.
I remember being amazed at how, after leaving her long-time career in academia, she so easily shifted into a completely different career and excelled in that too.
But I shouldn't have been surprised, because my mother is a truly incredible person.
Happy Birthday Mum, I can only hope to be the kind of mother to my sons that you are to me and Peter.