Having barely returned back from Flying Home for Christmas, and just a few weeks into 2022 – mother messages me.
“Let me know when you have time for a catch-up son, nothing urgent. All good here.” For her to message me late at night on a Wednesday was a bit odd but I didn’t give it too much thought. The next day after getting a bit off my to-do list at work, I face-timed her.
Expecting nothing more than some rudimentary IT tech support issue to resolve, I’m like: “All ok ma?”…
“Good pet. I have some good news…” insert long pause…
“You’ve won the lottery?”
“Nope. Brian (her boyfriend of 2.5 years) has proposed to me.” …
“Holly fuck” I blurted out before becoming completely overwhelmed as tears of joy started streaming uncontrollably down my face like a schoolgirl who’s just been given a pony (I imagine). I think that’s only the second time in my life I’ve ever cried happy tears tbh (and the last time was when I given a pony aged 8).
So here I am, thrilled to be announcing my mother’s imminent marriage. Her man, and – albeit only-just toyboy – is a lovely gent. They share a love of walking, Cumbrian artists and country breaks; they also both have children who have chosen the expat lifestyle.
It’s the sweetest thing and quite surreal – a word I use too much, I think, but I couldn’t find one more appropriate. As I was recounting this story the other day, I realized I’m super happy to be getting a stepfather, but of course it’s more that I’m super happy for her and delighted by her happiness.
She’s been through so much – dealing with me, and my two brothers growing through our adolescence years must have been traumatic enough – and the majority of the time I’ve had the pleasure to know her she’s been alone throughout. The thought of her getting wed genuinely fills me with joy.
I can only imagine how different the whole thing would be if I’d had received this news twenty plus years ago. It would have been more like, “No. Who the fuck is that guy?” (in a dodgy Irish accent – a la Jono). And I would have fallen into the typical nightmare stepson scenario I assume.
The special day is pencilled in for June this year meaning I will most certainly be back on British soil sooner than I anticipated. Many questions remain of course about that incredible day, crucial ones, such as: will I be a flower girl? A page boy? Giving her away? Or just sitting in the corner drinking by myself crying (happy tears of course). Perhaps, this also means – I still have time myself. I can maybe bum around like this not knowing (acknowledging) what I really want for another 30 years before settling down(?).
The night I found out, I was at an event in one of our venues with some close friends – shout out to Marc from Bite Club – and I ordered a few bottles of champagne, some shots, added to the usual amounts of beer and whiskey meant Friday was a struggle to get through.
But mother raised a soldier, and soldier on I did – even if I whinged like a little girl about my hangover.
Peace and love people.