top of page
Tuheen and Mum.jpg

Tuheen and Mum

It’s an Achmea plant and I got it from my mum because it’s  the last plant, it’s the last present, no it’s the last plant that I  actually got my mum before she passed away in August.

She was a botanist and she loved plants and those were some  of her really fond memories and I saw it when I was going  home, so I got off at the station, I saw this plant, bought it and  then took it back home.  

Yeah and the flowers are just fascinating and they are just  weird colours and odd. And mum was fascinated with it for  ages and I didn’t quite realise it at the time but when my mum  actually received the object she was starting to get really  sick so it was probably a bit, her mind was probably a bit  intoxicated with her own toxins. 

I think selfishly there’s a part of me that wanted to pick an  object that maintained the connection between me and her,  but wasn’t just hers and also part protected her because my  mum was really private. So things that were just purely hers,  I don’t know, I can’t answer how she would have felt about  something like this. So in a way, I guess it’s kind of like, rather  than any of those objects being about...or being chosen,  something that actually is...it is there to be displayed, that is  what a flower is. It is there to be displayed so that made the  most sense to me and also, because for so long it was dying,  or I thought it was dying and trying your best to save it and  stuff like that and not really knowing whether that’s going to  happen and then submitting to the fact that nature’s going  to take its course anyway...it just made sense because that  process is very therapeutic and I think that’s probably why I  attached myself to that plant so much. Then to find out it will  flower again someday, it’s like that with some stupid hope that  you have, that it’s going to spring up again in your own head  somewhere, someday.

It’s not happy in the normal sense of the word but one of the  happiest times I spent with mum was...we had a really honest  conversation once about me and my sexuality, and it’s a  bit weird to talk about because it’s not really...it didn’t start  off as a happy conversation. It started off in a very stressed  environment, where she was out of her comfort zone. ‘I don’t  have to like it and I don’t have to like that part of your life,  but it doesn’t stop me loving you and I love you and that’s  part of who you are, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.’ And  I was just like: you know you can’t get any fairer than that  really, because that was probably the categorical indication or  statement from someone where they actually unconditionally  love someone.  

It was happy for me because I think subsequent to that,  subsequent to my mum dying, those are the kind of things  that have been shook inside. Like you know, was she proud?  Was she happy? Did she enjoy stuff? And we had...part of that  same day, that same conversation she was like, you know,  when I remember my life I will remember all of this stuff, but  when I remember you I will remember all these happy things.  

 

That’s just really nice.

The other day I said to someone, I said, ‘I just want to talk  to mum.’ And they said, ‘what would you say’ you know?  Because they were trying to listen and they were trying to find  out what was in my head and I was like, nothing, I just want to  talk, I just want to ring her up and go, ‘Hi, how are you? What’s  going on, how’s life?’ And just have a meaningless, stupid  chat. That’s not what I think of my mum, like meaningless  and stupid, that’s not what I think of her but it’s that kind  of familiarity, that kind of...sort of safe knowing that I only  associate with my mum, now that it’s lacking.  

Tenacious, innocent, generous. Loving, she was definitive  she...stoic, wise, God she was so wise and she didn’t even  know it. She always thought she was really stupid, she was  told all the time she was really stupid but... Funny, she was  really funny. Mad, she was mental, an alchemist, there’s an  Arabic word called a Wali which is like a friend of God. It had to  have been her. She was pure and stern and loud, she could be  so loud when she wanted to be and she was fierce, so fierce.  Classy, she was really classy, she was just so...yeah, I could  probably go on and go through most of the dictionary, even  some curse words, because sometimes, like...God, she had a  tough side sometimes, but yeah I could go through most of  the dictionary.

I knew I was going to inherit it. Yeah, because yeah, when I  bought it, I didn’t think she was going to die so soon. I thought  she was going to be able to enjoy it. 

It’s stupid but it’s mum. I’ve drawn such a parallel between  mum and that object that almost by the plant staying alive, by  me keeping the plant alive, it’s like a conscious reinforcement  of her presence in my life and I’m doing that with lots of other  stuff as well. But all the other stuff isn’t alive. That is. So  thinking about what would happen if that object left my life or if  I had to get rid of it or if it was stolen or damaged or whatever,  I think I’d take it as a personal failing. Like I hadn’t done  enough to protect it or I hadn’t done enough to keep it safe.

bottom of page