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Mums are something special

In honour of my Mum who sadly passed away on the 26th March after a long 10 year battle with Motor Neurone disease, and as it’s my birthday today, I thought I would reflect on what I can be grateful for on this precious day and celebrate the miracles:

– Being born to a mum who showed me so much love, compassion and kindness over the years, and her love, support and guidance has made me who I am today. Without her, I wouldn’t have been born…

– The joy she brought to my life, the happy memories before she was ill, the fun, the laughter, the shopping trips, family time and holidays.

– Even during the time she was ill, she was still amazingly positive despite all the physical challenges she had to face, the emotional hardship and frustration at every new stage of deterioration that she had to learn to accept and adapt to over the years. She had such a strong, resilient mind and a positive spirit inside of her, right until very near the end, and I’m grateful for the time I was able to spend talking to her as much as I did. She always loved hearing what we were all up to, she loved all her grandchildren so much too and loved hearing about their tales and what they get up to at school and outside activities too.

– She was a great support for me the past year especially whilst we were house hunting which was a year-long process. I’m so glad me and my family got to celebrate with her when we finally exchanged on our new house only a few weeks ago. She was so happy, we were all so relieved the worst of it was over and now we could start getting excited about the move, and she shared that joy and excitement with us.

– My Mum also enjoyed playing bridge, and one of her good friends told me she played bridge online even just using the one working finger until the last possible moment she could. She really fought until the very end.

– It was a miracle, she managed to survive the pandemic and not catch covid, so I had more time to spend with her. Even in the days I would go round and talk to her through the window, she still remained so positive. Lockdown was hard for us all, but really for my mum, this is what her life was like on a daily basis, especially when it wasn’t easy to go out much anymore and she was very much housebound. I am however really grateful that Mum had such good carers (and my Dad too of course) and also for the friendship that she built with them, and the new styles of cooking she got to taste and experience which made life a bit more interesting – they were all from a variety of countries, Somalia, Russia, Hungary and the UK.

– My Mum had such a generous nature. She always loved taking me shopping for clothes when I was younger, and we often made a day of it and ate lunch out. Even during the beginning stages of the disease, when she was independent enough still and using the scooter, I remember going shopping with her to M&S, and I remember she bought some purple flowers, some for her but also some for me too – it gave her such joy to give them to me. Purple is one of my two favourite colours and I love flowers too.

– It is such a hard thing to lose control over your whole body that it’s made me feel even more grateful for what I have and the importance of looking after yourself and enjoying life whilst it lasts. My Mum loved going to the spa – when I was 18, she took me to Champneys, which I enjoyed then and even now, I do love a nice spa break and the pampering that goes along with that. She always took pride in how she looks, going to the hairdresser every week in the traditional way women used to do, putting on make-up most days, wearing nice, smart clothes, getting her nails done, all of which I now realise was all part of her own self-care.

– Especially when it was hard to talk to her over the phone, music became a way I used to connect with her on the days I wasn’t able to see her. I am grateful for the encouragement my mum gave me playing the flute, writing, learning languages, to do all those things that inspired me despite my challenges with hearing loss. She always managed to say the right thing to make me feel good. My mum did also love listening to a variety of different music – more so classical and opera – though I never remember her playing an instrument.

– I am grateful for my Mum’s positive spirit that will always live inside of me and will never be forgotten. She always managed a radiant smile even though things were getting really tough for her. She was very much like her Mum, my Nana, who enjoyed the simple pleasures in life and had a big heart.

What can you be grateful for today?