Every year, Mothers Day comes around, and it is the year where as much as I enjoy cherishing my mum with gifts, and memories- it is also a day where I honestly feel an element of confusion, and questions such as “what could have been?”
You may, or may not know- but I was adopted at the age of 3, to who would be my biological Grandad, and Step-Nan. Since this date, I would be raised, and cherished like I was their own. To this day I consider them my parents- as they nurtured me to be the person I am to this day. For some reason- I call them my “Mum and Grandad” – which in certain circumstances is very bizarre, but “step-nan” doesn’t have the same ring to it.
To August of 2018- and I’ve just driven back from Northamptonshire (my parents hometown) to Gloucestershire (my current residence), after flying back from Belfast the day previous. I am unloading my luggage, and I’m also getting my work uniform sorted for work the next day. The phone rings, I answer – a 15 minute conversation ensures between myself and my mum. I drop the phone- I burst into hysteric tears. My boyfriend looks at me in the most worried way he’s ever looked at me. I tell him what’s happened. My biological mum has passed.
For the sake of this post, I will call my biological mum “mom“. Mom was somebody who was frequently in and out of my life throughout my childhood. She basically looks like me to a tea. She wore her emotions on her sleeve, and was always the one who would dish out all the humour everyone around her would cling to. She had lots of friends, and bore 6 children, all of whom she loved with all of her heart. Unfortunately for her, she had her own demons, and this would play into the reason for her passing. When I became a teenager, her demons became overwhelming, so to protect me, my parents decided it was best for me to not be around it- particularly as I was described as “traumatised” in my very early years. To this day- I am eternally grateful for this.
The next 3 weeks were a huge blur. I took a couple of days off from work so I could look after myself, but I did come back to work the following work week. I requested a few days off to attend the funeral. They accept. During this time, I am in daily correspondence with my family arranging the funeral. I also travel down to visit her. This might be something that a lot of people wouldn’t do- but I hadn’t seen her in years. For me that day- it was about closure. No one had really known of her whereabouts for a long while. I’ve also decided in this time to write a funeral speech. This takes a few days- but it gets done.
The day of the funeral was also a blur. There was certainly a lot of people in attendance- a true testament to the people, and amount of love that mom had. It was a beautiful ceremony, I spoke to a lot of her school friends, and people who knew her before her passing. I hear stories of how hilarious, friendly, and caring she was.
I will leave that story on that note. Not because there’s anything bad to say, but because that’s all that needs to be said about her. She was everything great in a human being, and she had so much love to give.
This Mothers Day would be the first year of her passing. So whilst for me, today will be thinking about mom, I will also be cherishing the love that my mum has given to me since I was a baby. The woman who I consider a best friend. We have certainly gone to hell and back, numerous times- but she is someone who has always had my best interests at heart. Whilst we live nearly 2 hours away, we talk daily. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, and we’ve reminisced. I’m so lucky to have her in my life, and the love I have for her is immense. Today is about remembering that.
If you’re going through a bad time today, whether it’s because your mum is no longer with us, whether you aren’t getting along at the moment, or you’re a mother yourself to a child who is no longer with us- today is about looking after yourself. Talk to your friends. Or buy yourself lots of junk food, and watch your favourite Netflix series.
Mum – thank you so much.
Mom – thank you so much – rest easy.