How my relationship with my mum became closer with the help of a cuddly toy. How her memories from the youth forced her to discover diamond painting, and lead to deepen our relationship.
My mother became 65 this year, and it has been decided that she will come to live with us. Her health has greatly deteriorated in the last few months, and we felt that having her close by was the best idea.
Although her house stays in the family, it needed emptying and tidying. And throughout last week I was helping to clear out the attic. I came across many family treasures, as well as some bric a brac that no one wanted or needed anymore.
Where was he hiding?
One day I found hidden away in the old trunk a very old and scruffy looking rhino a cuddly toy. It made me wonder, who did it belong to. I didn’t remember my brothers playing with it, or myself. Even the cross stitched initials didn’t give a clue of his very first owner. Only one person would know, I thought.
I took the toy with me and drove off to my house. As soon as I got to the house I forgot about it and only when I was taking my mum to an appointment, she saw the toy on the back seat of the car and instantly her eyes watered. She whispered oh Mr Rine, where have you been hiding all these years.
Why Mr Rine was so important
She wiped her tears, and she told me the story of Mr Rine. He was her favourite toy and they were unserepatable. It was her friend, her guide, her trust and loyal companion. He came home from a trip to the Zoo, where my mum saw the rhinos for the first time and as she couldn’t say the whole word, the cuddly toy became Mr Rine. Her rhino fascination remains until this day.
When she was 22 she volunteered to a Rhino sanctuary in Africa. I remember the picture, where she proudly held a baby rhino. Her face golden and sprinkled with freckles, checkered shirt and bandana tied up on her head, blond curls around her face. The little baby rhino had the bandama too! And his name was Mr Rine.
When she came back, she was already engaged and soon after I was born. The mother hood took over the love for Africa’s rhinos. Throughout my childhood we visited the Zoo’s across the country, developing the love for rhinos and for Africa.
What helped my mother’s health
One day I found mum in her office, working on some kind of project. She was very immersed in it. She was accompanied by a glass of white wine, Chardonnay her favourite. To my surprise the bottle label had a very stylish picture of a rhino on it.
She was looking so peaceful, so content and so deep in her thoughts. I didn’t want to disturb her, but the curiosity took over and I entered the room.
When I asked what she is doing, she said that she plays tribute to Mr Rine, but this time she will keep him forever and wishes for him to stay in the family forever. She stood up and she revealed this shimmering creation of a diamond painting project. The rhinesours looked so real, and powerful, but gentle as well. And together we placed the picture on her office wall.