With Mother’s Day last weekend, there were many Facebook posts and tweets about families celebrating, and honouring in some way or the other, their mothers. I noticed many mum’s wrote something along the lines of “Everything I do, I do it for you” but perhaps not in such a Bryan Adams sort of way. But you get the gist of it. From the second a woman becomes a Mother, her whole being changes. For me, firstly I was in awe that I had made a baby. And it was my baby. Then the fear crept in – how on earth was I to know how to care for this little wailing thing? How would I know what it wants, won’t I hurt it? Will it breathe when it sleeps?
Then later on, experiencing the frustration of lack of sleep; figuring out solid food. Your world is pretty much knocked on it’s side and I’m sure that there must be many mums out there, where although 99% of the time you love your little bundles to bits, the 1% of the time you yearn for when things were easier and you were able to have more sleep.
I can’t speak for other mothers, but for me, I can’t say that everything, and I mean everything, I do, I do for Monkey and Bimble. But it’s pretty close. They are constantly on my mind, not full front and centre, but like a little glimmer of glitter, that’s so beautiful and you just can’t get rid off no matter how hard you try. I’ll never stop being their mum. No doubt they will both grow taller than my 158cm height, but as long as we keep talking and cuddling and hugging and telling each other that we love each other, then nothing will change.
When I was diagnosed with cancer October 2015, all I thought about were my two girls. My heart broke every time I looked at them. I was trying to capture them in my mind so I’d never forget them. But then, if I die, it’s really the people I leave behind that suffer. Don’t they? So how would the girls cope without their mother?
I lost my Mother when I was 7. Up till that point, I didn’t know any different, life was what it was, and this woman, my mum, was my constant in my life. When she lost her awful, awful struggle with breast cancer, the bottom of my world fell out. It took me nearly 20 years, to finally accept her death. And it came to me in a dream.
This dream occured while I was in London. In the dream, I was as myself in that present moment in time. An adult. She appeared in my dream as I remembered her last. Wearing her glasses, and her short bob tied in two short pony tails. She wore a white night gown. She spoke to me. Her words, in my dream, felt as real as it does sitting here typing this out. As she reached out to me and stroked my hair, my mum said to me “I’ve been away for a while, but now I’m back. What have I missed?”. And we talked and talked and talked. I told her everything that had been going on in my life. Then of course, I woke up.
But I felt such a sense of peace. As a child and teenager, I had begged at night to whomever would listen to me in the stars above, to please let me have just one dream of my mum. And it never happened until that moment, when I was 26 years old. I haven’t dreamt of her since. But now, as a mum to my two loves, a void has been filled. So when I got cancer, just like my mum, I feared that history was repeating itself. But, it’s a different time than it was 35 years ago. I’m being treated and cured.
I saw a Facebook post yesterday which broke my heart. The gist of the post was that Facebook had deleted a photo of a woman, who was treated for Stage 3 breast cancer, breast feeding her new born child with her “good” breast, while the other had been removed. She was crying. It was such a powerful photo. Mothers and fathers would give up their lives in a heartbeat if it meant saving the life of their child. Here is a Mother, who isn’t sure if she’ll be able to care for her new born baby. Heartbreaking, yet strong.
While my life is centred round my children and Husband, I’m now learning that I also need to love myself. I need to care for myself, and to make sure that I’m happy. Cancer has made me, if nothing else, forced to slow myself down and to look at my life differently, and how it affects the 3 most important people in my life.
This Mother’s Day, I’m just happy that it’s my tenth year as a Mother, and what an incredible decade that has been. No expectations, just the need and want to be there for my girls, but to also be there for myself. I never got the chance to tell and show my mum how much I love her and to thank her for everything she’d ever done for me, so I need to be kind to her child, me, in order to honour her love for me.