As expats we don’t always have the luxury of spending time with our parents as they age. We are fortunate to be able to Skype or FaceTime and continue our relationship with them despite the distance, but often we chat about daily routines and miss talking about the important questions we should ask.
Bern Morley, an Australian writer, sat down and listed 10 things we should all ask our mothers before it’s too late. Her questions came to her after her mother died, and are both practical and emotional. The next time you’re Skyping or FaceTiming with your mom, take a minute to ask a few questions about her life. Use one of Bern’s questions to get started, your mother will appreciate the opportunity to reminisce and you will cherish the information when she’s gone.
1. Can I have the recipe?
It’s a well-known fact that Mums are just ridiculously clever at making delicious food and making it appear effortless. My Mum’s Fried Rice couldn’t be beaten even if I visited every restaurant in China. Her Curried Chicken made from scratch and without ever needing to refer to a recipe, I can still almost taste. And don’t even get me STARTED on her chocolate cake. But because all of these were in her head and made from memory, I cannot recreate them, no matter how much I’ve tried. Why didn’t I ask her for these when I had the chance?
2. What was your life like before you had children?
As children, we can be fairly self-involved to the point of ignorance. Oblivious to the fact that before we entered their world, they actually had a “life”. And just like you and I, it was more than likely, an amazing point in time. Get to know your parents better by understanding who they were before you came along.
3. Was dad the one?
I guess we all like to believe that when we were conceived, we were done so with love. Although, you know, if I’m honest, I don’t really want to think too much about the actual logistics of this. What I’m trying to say is that you need to know if there was perhaps “the one that got away”. Most of us have that one person we stalk on Facebook wonder about. The one that broke your heart. Maybe your Mum has her own story. Maybe she doesn’t. At least ask the question.