Nov 28, 2011

Don't put off until tomorrow....

by Nikki Logan

Over the weekend I got a solid reminder about the importance of telling people how you feel while you're feeling it….

I’ve been lucky enough in life to have two mums—my own fabulous mother, and a step-mother who was in our family since I was a young teen.  She was glamorous and gregarious and the sole reason weekly access visits to my father were bearable.

Eighteen years ago she lost the man that she’d loved so much and her journey since has been a tough one because she really wasn’t a person built for being alone. It made things tough between us, too, because she was a living reminder of all my father’s failings. And because she fell head-long into a self-destructive period.

But…turns out she was a resilient old duck (at least on the surface) and she came through that stage and limped out the other side to form a life for herself around the limitations of her ailing body.

So I’ve had these two mother role-models; both single, both ageing, both managing that independence so very differently.

I recently had cause to write a book about families—my heroine finds out her real father is a rancher in Texas and heads off to meet her new family. That book made me reflect on the definition of family and that some bonds aren’t measured in hours spent together or the type of things you do in that time. They’re measured in the thickness of the strands that make up the bond.

And I had surprisingly thick strands with my step-mum. It’s been eighteen years since my father’s death meant she could have just slipped out of my life, but she didn’t. Between the two of us—and despite the craziness of her life and the crazy busy-ness of mine—we managed to keep that bond more or less in place. It wasn’t always easy but the strands must have been made of solid stuff to weather the bad times.

And so I dedicated my latest book to her—because family isn’t always defined by blood—and I was going to surprise her with it at Christmas. I think it would have touched her and meant a lot given the nature of the story.

Except she didn’t make it to Christmas, and so she didn’t know.

I was being dramatic, I was going for impact. What I should have done was pick-up the phone and tell her straight away and not worried about whether that would strike her as immodest or awkward. Because then she would have known and, I hope, smiled.

And I would definitely have wanted her last thoughts about me being a smile.

Safe journey home, L.



  1. Nikki, what a lovely tribute and I absolutely agree with you about never putting special moments off.

  2. Beautiful post Nikki. HUGS to you.

  3. Awww, Nikki so sad that you never got to tell her. But hugs on your lovely relationship x

  4. I'm sure she knew how much she meant to you, Nikki. And she'll be looking down with a big smile now, knowing all about your dedication to her.

    Big hugs,

  5. Nikki ~ so sorry to hear about your loss but you have many happy memories. I'm sure by the post that your step mother knew she was appreciated. Thanks for the reminder not to put things like this off.

  6. Nikki, that was a beautiful tribute. I'm sure your stepmother knew how important she was in your life, just as you know how much you meant to her.

    Thank you for the timely reminder to not put things like this off. It bears repeating again and again.


  7. A gorgeous tribute, Nikki.

    It's wonderful that you had such a special relationship with her, and she would've known that. But still, timely advice about not putting things off, it's made me have a good think about a few things.


  8. A wonderful tribute Nikki.
    And it was a timely reminder about not putting off those things we want to say to the people in our lives who we care about.
    Take care.

  9. Hugs from me too Nikki - that was such a wonderful post. And you're so right about not putting things off but as Catherine says above, she will be looking down know and know all about that lovely dedication. Take care of yourself.

  10. Nikki, what a beautiful post. Your step-mother sounds like a very special person. And you're so right about not putting off telling people how much they mean to you -- thanks for the reminder! I'm sure your step-mum knew how much you loved her.
    Big HUGS.

  11. Nikki, that's a lovely post. You are so right. We need to acknowledge the special people in our lives now and not later. But I'm sure your love came through anyway and your step mum would'veknown.

  12. Nikki, it sounds like you had a wonderful and very special relationship with your step-mum - this post is a beautiful tribute to that. I'm sad that you didn't get the opportunity to spring your surprise on her but I bet she'd have smiled!
    Thanks for the reminder not to put off saying the important things.

  13. Lovely words, Nikki. From what you have said I am sure your stepmother is smiling from above at the dedication and as moved as we are at the post. Hugs, Anita

  14. So sorry to hear about your loss, Nikki. You are right - we should tell people how we feel and not let it wait. So I'm telling you that you are a very special person with a big heart, and I'm sure your stepmum knew how much you loved her.

    E x

  15. So so sorry about losing your step-mum, Nikki. Your words are so touching and I'm sure she knows exactly how you felt about her.

  16. Everyone, thanks so much.

    I've surfaced from a challenging week and the funeral (with all its politics and weirdness) is now behind me. I know, now, what an amazing woman she was before she was in our lives, and that I was by far from the only one who stepped back when her life was spinning out of control. There was a lot of 'could've, should've, would've' in the eulogies so I know that I'm not alone.

    She was cremated in the $1400 hot-red sequined dress and 4-inch heels that she attended my father's funeral in which is exactly how she would have wanted to go.

    That image gives me peace.

    You're a great bunch of women, thank you all for your support.