Happy Mothers Day: An Open Letter

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.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Beth Wood, people smiling, eyeglasses and closeup
Me and mum

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.


2019: New Year, Same Me.

When I think about the New Year, I often reflect on what I have achieved the year previous. I wonder about what I did well, but also what I could have done differently. Though I am an advocate for never regretting your past, I also have my fair share of well- regrets. Though I made some amazing memories in 2018, from going to Belfast with my family, to getting a new job, to the evenings drinking with friends and loved ones, I also had numerous anxiety attacks, and I lost my biological mum to the nasty addictive illness known as alcoholism.

The crazy thing about social media, is that as I was looking at my Instagram stories, and seeing all the exciting memories that everyone seemed to have, I was finding it so easy for me to compare my life to theirs. As so many social commentators and researchers warn us about, this was making me feel horrible about my year. Was my year really that dull? Why can’t I be doing all the exciting things they were doing? What I realised though, was that I was seeing their absolute best moments in their lives, and that surely nobodies life can be that happy and fun all the time!? I suppose what I’ve realised is that this way of thinking is just toxic, futile, and I am a Generation Z early twenties woman- why am I not used to these kind of posts!?

So I’m looking into 2019, as are a lot of people at this time of year, and I am looking into the future with hope, and ambition. This time last year, I was working 5-6 days a week for a travel bureau, typically lone working, and scared about whether this is what my future was going to be for the rest of my life. Now? I am progressing in a career I have a genuine interest in, I am regularly social (even if this is mostly online), and I have a lot of loved ones by my side. This doesn’t mean that I’m not going to have bad days; of course I will, it’s an inevitable thing that will happen to even the best of us. However- I have something this year that I’ve mentioned earlier that i didn’t have back then, and that’s hope. I even went out of my way and made myself a list of resolutions for me to thrive towards (via Paint may I add…)

So will I change and become a less cynical, happier person? Honestly- probably not. Though we all generally change as we age, I can’t write to you all, and tell you that this year going to be “the year”, because at the end of the day, even if I won £10,000,000 tomorrow via the lottery, I would still find something to complain about. The point is that at least this year, I’m going to be honest with myself, look after myself, and open myself to others, and I guess that’s what this blog is all about.

I hope you all have a wonderful year, and if you feel like things aren’t going well for you, that’s okay to admit to yourself as well.