Becoming a Mum was the one thing in life that I was always certain about. Having been brought up surrounded by strong females I was always confident of the fact that this was for me and that I would have the best support any girl could wish for…
Unfortunately, fate would have other ideas. Having battled with Cancer for 15 years it finally took its hold over my Mum’s body and there was nothing more that could be done. I had watched this strong, confident woman fight battle after battle and I never once believed that the Cancer would ever win… you never think these things will happen to you do you? Yet here I was at the age of 20 being sat down by my family and told that the one person who had the biggest influence in my life would be leaving me pretty soon. My world came crashing down.
As a single Mum, she had provided so much for myself and my sister and we were a team. She could have crumbled at so many times but she didn’t. She continued to be an amazing female role model and I owe her so much for that because I don’t believe that I would be where I am today if I hadn’t had her to look up to growing up.
I will never forget sitting on the sofa with her one day and having her burst into tears on me. She was devasted that she was going to leave us and the main thing that was playing on her mind was the fact that she would never see us get married and have children. That conversation will never leave my thoughts.
On 7th November 2003 she passed away. I was 21 and my sister was 17.
Fast forward almost 14 years and here I am sat on my own sofa, in my own home, with my husband next to me and my little boy up in bed, with baby number 2 due in January. What happened in between has been an uphill struggle at times, has seen me build up all I have from nothing and achieve the best I could after such a loss. There are probably enough stories there to fill a book but all you need to know for now is that I made it and I am not ashamed to say that I am proud of that.
There have been hard times but I think having a baby brings the grief around all over again. Where so many women turn to their Mothers for help and advice at this time in their lives I didn’t have mine to do this with. I couldn’t find out if I had been like Jake as a baby, I couldn’t gain her insight and I had no random visits to give me a helping hand. That void is there and will be again with the new baby.
She has already missed out on meeting my husband, of watching us get married and now she has been robbed of becoming a Nanny, something which I know she would have been amazing at and would have brought her pure joy.
I see others who have their Mums with them to go on shopping sprees, to prepare for the new arrival or go to the scans with and I miss her even more. On those lonely days, I am very lucky to have my sister and she has been my rock. But no one can replace your Mum, no one can recollect what you were like as a child the way your Mum can and there is no bond the same.
During those early tough days with a newborn, I would have loved to have been able to just pick up the phone to have a moan. Even now at 34, there are times when all I want is the advice or friendly ear of my Mum especially when I’m having a self-doubt moment or a hormonal pregnant week like I am experiencing a lot of this week– hence this post and my mind wandering to her and my yearning to talk to her one more time. They say grief gets easier but I’m not sure it does.
I know there are times when you probably think your Mum is interfering or trying to take over but I would give anything to have my Mum here annoying me, so please remember that the next time you are having a moan about yours… I wish that was the problem in my life. You don’t know how lucky you are until that person is gone.
It’s not only myself and my Mum missing out on this experience together, it is Jake too. He knows that she is no longer here and he says she lives up in the stars but it breaks my heart that he will never get to meet the woman who made me who I am, the woman who showed me that you don’t need a man to survive and the woman who fought for her life to spend more time with her precious children. I will never let her memory die and as long as I can remember stories and funny occasions I will tell them to him so he can learn what a wonderful person she was.
It’s a funny time in my life because it is the happiest now I have children (well plural soon!) but it is also the saddest because my Mum isn’t here to share in it all with me. Cancer has taken this privilege away from all of us and I will never stop missing her, which is a very painful emotion to feel on a daily basis but I will not let Cancer win again. I will carry on living my life, giving my son and future son the same love-filled family home I was fortunate enough to have and showing them why my Mum was the most inspirational person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.