I lost my Mum to lung cancer on May 29th 2010 at 10;51pm. It was a Saturday, the day before my Dads 60th birthday and a bank holiday weekend. I’ll never forget it. It all happened really quickly. She became ill in mid April, was told it was lung cancer and that she had less than a month to live. She wanted to be at home so I arranged a hospital bed and a care plan. I nursed her for 11 days. She shut down, wouldn’t really talk much. She didn’t want music, which was hard because music had always been a huge part of our lives. But every minute was precious. Those 11 days and nights were so special to me. I barely left her side. I talked to her, held her hand and just sat with her so she was never alone. I constantly told her I loved her.
At the end, the night Mum died, I was sitting with her and she became agitated and looked scared. I instantly knew what was coming so I soothed her and calmed her down. I told her very personal things and told her I loved her. She said “Love you too” one last time. And then she was gone. I knew straight away she was gone. Once the necessary calls had been made, I fell asleep for the first time in nearly 2 weeks. I knew my beautiful, special Mum was at peace and would watch over me.
The weeks that followed were like a bad dream. But I survived. And I survived the next 3 years too. I fully believe that my Mum had taught me everything I would need to live my life without her some day. Mum was strong, a fighter, caring, sensitive and so, so funny.
My Mum left me a letter and told me to never stop giggling. I often forget to giggle, life gets in the way. But deep down, I am still a giggler. Mum taught me that. She also instilled my love of baking cookies, especially at Christmas time. My love of music, especially Country, and line dancing. Going to intimate live gigs, Adam Garcia movies and reading books all comes from her. My Mum was kind, loving, affectionate, generous, a great hostess and made a cracking cup of tea. She loved lilac trees. She was a good listener. She knew when a hug was all that was needed. I hope I have inherited some of those qualities.
Mum was my inspiration in life. I want to be the kind of woman she was and hope to, one day, be the kind of mother she was. She was my best friend, my confidante, my side kick, my role model and my world is darker and more lonely without her. But I have inherited her fighting spirit and it keeps me going.
I miss her everyday in everything I do. I feel empty without her sometimes. But she made me strong. And I will always find my giggle and always love to read. And whenever I see or smell a lilac tree, I am blown away by the overwhelming sense that she’s with me. I suppose she is. She leaves me white feathers in odd places just to remind me.
Thank you Trish for sharing this beautifully written piece