on the 15th March 1932, an extraordinary event took place, and yet it was so very normal for all involved. My Mum, Valerie Mary Hudson was born. An event that didn’t change the world. She was born in the East End of London, a cockney by birth at Thhe Mothers Hospital in Clapton. Her life as a child wasn’t easy. She lost her own mother when she was little. And that changed her attitude in a way you can’t imagine.
In 1952, she was “commissioned and ordained” as a Salvation Army Officer. She met my dad and they married October 6th 1956 (dad’s birthday). Together they changed the world around them. They inspired me in ways that maybe I never got the chance to tell them. (This is them on their Golden Weddings Celebrations)
But back to mum. You see to many she was Val or Major Val, or auntie Val and to dad she was Valerie. His love and His life. Yet to me she was my mum, she was a friend to so many and yet so few knew her deepest secrets. She welcomed my friends as though they were her children and family. She was the person my friends turned too. She was the person I turned too.
She inspired me in her cooking, although some of her meals weren’t the best. She would bake and place love gifts of Ginger cakes and chocolate muffins on people’s doorsteps because she could. She walked through hazardous districts and challenged church thinkers on their technical jargon. She was a fervent prayer and loved outrageously. She wanted people to know Jesus, she took ages writing and working on her messages because she wanted them to make sense to people. She was desperate that faith was a personal challenge and belief. She was my mum who at 64 years of age, tried to learn Italian because of my calling. She cared deeply for dad and our family. She would take the time to write to people and let them know she cared and loved them. She would phone me before dad got out of bed so we could chat without interruption. She missed me a lot (she told me that) and would count down the days till we saw each other. I never understood that – I do now. She had the most wicked sense of humour. She like me loved to laugh at silliness and she loved a practical joke. She taught me about language and poetry and God and fun and faith and cooking and joyful, disciplined service for God. She taught me about the value of friendship and investing in friends. She showed me how to love the unloveable, how to make space for the forgotten. She showed me how to see the best in people. She called me everyday to tell me she loved me. She went to the football with me because dad didn’t want too. She made me understand the love of a mother. She helped me to realise that being myself is okay. She taught me to be all that God has called me to be.
Yes that was my mum. And this year, I miss her as much as I did last year and the year before and will do next year. My mum was fabulous and wonderful and crazy and a full of faith.
But this year in the UK it’s Mother’s Day on what would have been her 83rd birthday. I pay tribute to her and to the mum’s similar to her, because she was one of a kind.
All I really wanted to say was – thanks Mum, I miss you!
Happy Mothers Day Mum and Happy Birthday too.
(Mum as a young Cadet)