I am consumed with thoughts of her. I’m reminded of the story of my birth and it’s one I will cherish. The reason being that it constantly reminds me of how much of a total superhero she was.
Labour started in the afternoon and she telephoned my grandparents to come and collect my sister Carly. However my Dad was yet to return from work and so she continued to make his tea. For clarification tea refers to our evening meals up here in Yorkshire. Anyway, she proceeded through the contractions to make his tea. Something elaborate no doubt and then she waited. When my Dad returned home she made him sit down and eat. Her reasoning being he’d been at work all day and would be ready for it and so she walked around the kitchen contracting and waiting and watching him and no doubt hating him a little bit but also loving him enough to put his needs first. Once he had finished, my Dad drove her to Pontefract hospital and without any pain relief, I arrived at 11.27. Having experienced a contraction or two myself I know the pain she was in and what she went through to bring me here but all the while she was what I would come to learn to be her stoic and selfless self. She was amazing and brave (to the very end) and strong and all the things I can only hope to be.
I miss her. I miss her terribly. So much so I’ve been ugly crying on and off for most of this week. Having now had Eliza I understand fully why she was the first call I got on my birthday. Wherever I was in the world she would be the first and it was because I (and my siblings) were the centre of her world. And she really was the centre of mine. Of ours. And you know that when someone dies they often become elevated in peoples perceptions, no one ever says “well they were a bit of a dick” well this is not the case for my Mum. No exaggeration or pedestal here. This is a true story. She really was that much of a hero. She really was that much of a big deal and I am devastated every day still that she has left us.
I find writing cathartic and I have found since losing my Mum that I find reading other peoples experiences helpful so I do hope that anyone reading this can take something from it. Even if it’s just to pick up the phone and ring their Mum. Or take a minute to reflect that whatever else is challenging them in their lives that they have their Mum and that is something to be grateful for. For those who have lost their Mum’s too then I hope my rambling about missing her on my birthday makes them feel a little less alone when they themselves feel like this when it should be a happy occasion.
Last year I chose to celebrate my birthday at the Spa and later at home with my friend Debbie accompanied by too much wine because I couldn’t bear to be around people. This year I verged on choosing to isolate myself again because it is easier than planning something when you’re missing someone so integral to your being but my sister has stepped in and instead I am going to be surrounded by many of my favourite people. The ones who can be here that is, by this I mean those in the country/in existence. It hurts to even write that.
So goodbye 34 and hello 35. Thank you age for the grey hair I found last week and the struggle I had getting out of the car on Tuesday after a long drive… getting old is rubbish but you’re only as old as you feel or the man you feel as the saying goes… and he’s 28 (29 in July) so I’m reckoning I’m really only 29 tomorrow too.
Here are some pictures of me and my Mum when I was a baby. As an aside to all the dad’s out there, take more pictures!! I have very few from when I was little with her as she was always the one taking them. Also I wish I could pan right or left or up as her face is left out of most of them.
I’m guessing from the way she is moving out of shot that she didn’t have her mascara on that day. Shame.
There are very few pictures of me generally as a child because I was the poor neglected middle one and this therefore prompted years of being told by my loving sister I was adopted. Given the lack of pictures pre age 4 I believed it but now the resemblance is so uncanny there is no doubt I was and am hers and she was and is very much mine.