Christmas Cards

Just a short one, probably a depressing one too, sorry for that.

It all started with the Christmas cards arriving.

My first card this year, ironically came from my dad’s wife, it hit hard. 

Suddenly it’s arrival made me realise that is it for the ‘daughter’ cards. Those beautiful, heartfelt, well chosen, well thought out cards that only a parent buys, in fact my mum would buy two (or three some year so). In its place comes a card not in the hand that I see my cards penned. A card from a multi-pack. A card that probably found her facing her own thoughts of Dad on this first Christmas without him. A card that I’m sure she struggled to write and to me was bordering on devoid of all emotion. I’m not blaming her for this.

I hate the fact Cancer has taken both my parents from me, I hate the fact that Christmas is hugely lacking with both of them gone. I haven’t spent a Christmas with my father for quite some years but I always spoke to him on the day and enjoyed buying him gifts (more so after Noah’s arrival, being able to share our love of photography with a beautiful [in my mind] image of my boy). This year his wife requested that presents wouldn’t be sent either way, a request that I’m sure will stand from here on in. I find myself battling with this. I want to send her something because she has been part of our lives for 26 years, she was my dad’s wife, she is family, but I also feel I should respect her wishes. I find myself browsing my Dad’s Amazon wish list and feeling robbed, whilst doing this I found my Mum’s, untouched since 2007 and feel absolutely devastated.

Whilst trying to buy a card for D from Noah I’ve stared at the Mum and Dad cards on the shelves in the card shops and had to hold back the sobs knowing that I’m looking at something that I will never buy for my own parents and that hurts. Hurts beyond belief. I remember now thinking it such a chore finding the ‘right’ card, now I’d find it so easy. I’d buy the fucking lot if it meant that they would read them and realise how much I loved them, how much I respected them, how much I thought of them, how much I miss them.

I’m sat here at home alone listening to the gentle hum of the baby monitor whilst D is on his works do, quietly dreading Christmas this year but also aware that Noah is starting to get excited about it. I want, more than anything, for Noah to be totally unaware of my hang ups and feel the pressure of trying to make it extra special as a way of making up for my feelings of lack of enthusiasm. 

I find myself struggling once more and hate it. I know I have more grief coming, more anniversaries, family events, milestones, all without my parents there.

So as I go through the motions of preparing for a Christmas without the love and thought of a parent I think more deeply of those in a similar situation. I’m not ‘alone’ yet I know (especially in my previous line of work) there are so many out there that are and realise how much that must hurt at this time of year. I just hope they have atleast received one card with a heartfelt thought behind the words written in it.

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Baby Loss Awareness

My partner messaged me from yet another of his hotel restaurants to let me know, whilst holding back tears, that it’s baby loss awareness week this week and it got me thinking. Thinking about awareness weeks… not about my baby losses because I think about them every day and no doubt will do until the day I shuffle off this mortal coil.

I wonder who decides when these weeks will be and whether they ever really make anyone more ‘aware’ of the subject matter or whether it’s just a week that makes those who are directly affected remember with more vigour.

I’ve found myself thinking more deeply into my own losses this week, thinking more about the four beautiful babies I never held but still love with all my heart, wondering more deeply about who they would be and thinking over, once more, why we had to suffer these losses. It’s an awareness week yet I don’t see anyone talking about it. I find that when I bring the subject up with a lot of people their eyes glaze over and their eyes wander, I can almost hear them thinking “here she goes again, how am I going to get away” (I’m not talking close friends here).  I find the only time you’re allowed to talk about your own losses after a certain time is when someone else has lost, and even then only if they ask to hear your story directly because they’re going through their own hell and (quite rightly) don’t need to listen to yours too, but from experience it’s nice to know that you’re not alone and it happens to more people than you are aware of.

I find this doesn’t only happen when discussing baby loss, but any loss and have come to the conclusion that we just don’t like to talk about grief in whatever parcel it’s delivered in. There seems to be a period of time where you are ‘allowed’ to express your feelings and grieve and no matter who you talk to they will listen, or at least politely pretend to. Then suddenly, and it’s pretty soon I think, you’re not allowed to talk about it anymore. People get bored of listening and if you persist in mourning your loss you stop seeing these people because they just can’t deal with your misery.

I remember being told on a number of occasions, on the loss of my mother and then subsequent miscarriages and then the recent loss of my father, that I shouldn’t ‘dwell on it’ or ‘wallow’ anymore… As if I choose to feel this cutting grief, as if I enjoy it, as if I’m purposefully prolonging my own agony, as if I should just forget they ever existed.

So as I light my ‘Wave of Light’ candle for my four babies that weren’t given a chance I think of everyone else who has suffered the loss of a baby, or a pregnancy and give them strength and hope that the future does brighten. I want to tell them that their feelings matter, regardless of how many years have passed since their loss and that they are not alone. 

I spent half an hour of the WoL hour sitting on the edge of my bed listening to and looking at our beautiful boy as he slept peacefully and thanked the universe for him, aware that others aren’t as lucky as we are. 

So perhaps that’s the idea of awareness weeks such as this, not necessarily raising the awareness of those that haven’t suffered, but to make the affected aware that they are not alone.

  

Goodbye Summer

Wow, it’s September. The summer has gone, the Autumn (proven by the incredible plunge in temperature) is here once again. Summer seems to have passed me by and I struggle to remember a nice, sunny day of it. Did we have any, or is it my darkened mind that has tarnished their memory?

I love summer, always have. I hate the rain, I hate the grey, I hate the wind, the sun is where I find my happiness, it’s my power source but as we approach another long and bleak Cornish winter I feel I haven’t had my batteries fully charged with what I need to get through it.

I hated this summer mind, hated it like no other. All it seems to have brought to my door is more grief, loss, disappointment, fear, stress, anxiety and rage and for once I’m looking forward to winter as the beginning of winter means a new year is just around the corner.

I find myself writing this the day after my baby was due to be born and so much has happened that I nearly forgot that this had happened to us too, this that I thought would be the worst thing to happen to us this year, so forgive me for this rather maudlin post.

‘They’ say things happen for a reason but I struggle to contemplate what the reason is for so much heartache to fall on my doorstep this year. 

I’m not a bad person. In fact I’d go as far as saying that I’m a fairly nice person, a caring person, a fair person, a tolerant person. So if things happen for a reason, please can someone enlighten me as to what that reason is? Because I can’t see it right now. 

I’m not going to say Why Me? Because, quite frankly, why not me? What makes me so bloody special that I shouldn’t have a hard time more than the person next to me. I just struggle to know why all my babies couldn’t be with me now instead of just the one, special, precious one that was strong enough to stay with us. Why both my parents have been taken away from us so they are unable to witness my beautiful boy grow into an adult and give him the magical memories grandparents provide. Why we have been dogged with such bad luck where other matters are concerned. So to you people who say it, please give me the reason and if you can’t, then stop saying it to people when dreadful things happen to them because it doesn’t help. The saying should be, quite simply… “Things happen” and that’s the end of it.

So as I say goodbye to Summer and hello to Autumn I hope, beyond hope that our run of bad luck has come to an end and that the changing of the leaves will also bring the changing of our fortunes. As those leaves fall away from their branches and begin to become one with the earth once more, our misfortune will join them and leave the hope of a brighter, more fortunate future.

21 Month Old

What a month it’s been, in fact writing this (at the end of the month) I’m finding it hard diarising the beginning in an upbeat manner so excuse me if it sounds a bit maudlin from time to time, it’s been a pretty miserable month unfortunately darling. 

The beginning of the month started with an urgent phone call for me to get up to see your Grandad who had, on the 24th July, been transferred to St Giles Hospice in Whittington. We, of course, got ready and got in the car immediately and we were there by midday. As is usually the case the Hospice was in beautiful surroundings meaning you got to roam the grounds outside Grandad’s room happily for hours. The fact there was a wind turbine directly opposite Grandad’s room helped keep you entertained. You were ever so good and busied yourself nicely, even locating Grandad’s stick and started ‘hoovering’ his room. You were a breath of fresh air in a bleak sky my darling. I’m just pleased Grandad got to see you and speak to you one last time. The next day, whilst I spent the day with Grandad, Daddy took you to a soft play centre as the weather was horrific, apparently this soft play I found (on the internet) was worse than hell on earth so you didn’t stay there long and ended up the rest of the time with Daddy, playing in the car, which to be fair is a favourite pastime of yours… It’s all those buttons and levers that do it.

We came home on Monday and on Tuesday we met up with Mila and Amanda for a play date at home.

Unfortunately on Friday 31st July, the day before we were due to go back to see Grandad he lost his fight against Multiple Myeloma and passed away peacefully with Uncle Simon and Andrea by his side. I’m so sad I didn’t get to see him once more but glad I got the chance to speak with him (although strained) the weekend before. 

  

We went back up on Saturday however, to see Andrea and check she was ok. I spent the day with her whilst Daddy took you to Conkers where you had a whale of a time. I’m actually a little jealous as you got your first ride on a train and I couldn’t share that with you. We stayed in Worcester that night so that it would cut the journey down by nearly two hours. You still hate the journey and I’m sorry I’ve had to put you through it so often lately.

  

We had a viewing on the flat on Monday (also my birthday) and you got to have another play date with Mila on Tuesday where you and she had a huge amount of fun playing on the bed whilst Amanda watched you for a bit as I had my hair done. I’ll treasure the montage of photos Amanda made of your exploits, you’re both so gorgeous together.

  

On Wednesday 5th August we went to Lyme and stayed with Auntie for a few days. It was lovely to see them both as we haven’t seen them in so long. Uncle David totally spoilt you when he gave you a Toys With Tools Dumper Truck as a treat, you absolutely love it, even more so knowing you can dismantle it and put it back together again, you’ve barely left it alone since we got home. 

  

Daisy came up with her Mum and Gran and played with you for a while. You were so funny and insisted she follow you around for about 30 minutes, you kept checking she was behind you and when you knew she was was you smiled and chirruped happily and continued leading her around the house pointing things out to her. She’s such a sweet girl for doing that. She even came and watched you in the bath, to your delight. This of course, didn’t make her departure a pleasant experience for you and you totally melted down when she had to go home. It took a good fifteen minutes to get you to stop crying. It’s safe to say you’ve found a friend there.

  

On the 6th we went into town and Auntie bought you your first pair of Wellington boots. There were only one pair for boys in the shop which were red with tractors on which were kind of cute but when we asked whether there were anymore he brought in two more styles. Hatley Mini Creatures and Skulls… Well, as soon as we pulled the Skulls out of their box you went absolutely crazy for them. My little pirate. Needless to say, you loved them and now it’s a mission to get them off you. You spent the rest of the afternoon plodding around Auntie’s garden in them just grinning and staring at them.

  

On Friday we had a second viewing on the flat and took you to the doctors as you developed a rash on your forehead that I thought was heatrash but when it stopped blanching I thought it better to check it out, just to check it wasn’t contagious more than anything, as you were perfectly well in yourself. Dr Moss was running nearly an hour late which meant you weren’t in the best of moods when we finally got to see him. In a nutshell he wasn’t concerned about it or that it was contagious so then we spent the next 30 minutes trying to get you back into your car seat.

We got to celebrate the wedding of Roo’s parents and his christening on Saturday 8th August, though you spent more time in the church yard with Mila, Grayson and Corey than actually in the church due to ‘high spirits’. Afterwards we went to the reception at Roo’s farm where there was an amazing hex marquee in a field and lots of inflatables for you guys to play with. Unfortunately due to timings we had to leave before the speeches as you were just too tired but we all had a good time none and we wish them all the best for a happy future together.

  

On Tuesday 11th we had another play date with Mila and Grayson and took you guys to Stratton park where you all had a fantastic time. What an amazing park as it’s largely geared towards your age group and no dogs are allowed so the grass was nicely ‘safe’.

It was Bude Carnival on Saturday 15th and we met Mila and Amanda at the Castle grounds. There was music on the Band Stand that you guys just loved and spent an age dancing (and conducting) around the place. The Toy Library had a set up there which kept you all entertained the entire time we were there. There was even a mobility scooter stand which, of course made you crazy excited, bless the chap running it as he let you sit on one and wheeled you around the lawn…. You LOVED it. t was a lovely day in the sun. We didn’t get to see the parade as you were long tucked up by then but you did watch all the dancing provided by CJs Dance.

  

On the 17th we headed north again for the last time for a while, I promise. This time we bought an iPad mount for the headrest so we could hopefully distract you. After much deliberation and reading of reviews I chose one by VonHaus. After a bit of adjustment it worked an absolute treat. We downloaded several episodes of Show Me Show Me for the moments we couldn’t entertain you any longer.

On the 18th we decided to go into Burton and get your feet measured. We found a Clarks in the Octagon Shopping Centre and a lovely girl measured your feet. You looked like such a big boy sitting on the edge of the stool. The girl was suitably impressed saying that usually she has to battle screaming, wriggling children. You have gone up a whole shoe size and so we chose a new pair of shoes for you, Softly Jet Fst (which personally look way too big, it’s like you’ve got a couple of boats on your feet bless you), you adored the little aeroplanes on them and made everyone chuckle how you marched around the shop proudly pointing at your new shoes. As we left you shouted at a chap waiting outside the shop and pointed at your shoes with a look of pride on your feet. 

  

On the 19th we said goodbye to my wonderful Daddy, your Grandad. Daddy had sole control of you from 9am when I had to go with Uncle Simon and Auntie Jacqueline to see Andrea. We decided that, due to your aversion to the car seat it would be wise to put you in it as little as possible so you guys met us at Chellaston Methodist Church for the service. We were all very upset and when I arrived you just wanted a hug, on lifting you onto my lap you decided that was the perfect time to trump, turning a very sad moment into a funny one, Grandad would have had a nice chuckle at that. Afterwards you went straight to the wake leaving the rest of us to say our final goodbyes at Bretby Crematorium for Grandad’s committal. The wake was held at the Lakeside Bistro at Shortheath Water which is a gorgeous fishing spot round the corner from Grandad and Andrea’s house. Unfortunately it started to rain just as you got there meaning you couldn’t run around as we had hoped. Despite this you behaved so well.

The 20th saw our return home, thanks to the iPad it was uneventful but you were so relieved to be home with your toys.

We’ve had some nice long walks across the downs, on the beach and down by the Castle and have thoroughly put your wet weather gear to the test, you just love the outside and won’t be put off so now you’re fit for purpose.

  

Physical Development

Jumping seems to be your latest. On the 13th we noticed you trying to jump so we assisted, along with a ‘3,2,1, Jump’. You have since made noises like we made preceding an attempted jump. You counting? Maybe!

Health

A couple of colds this month but nothing horrific, just the sniffles and that rash on your forehead which, as predicted, cleared up of it’s own accord n a matter of a few days.

Teeth

Still no sign of those pesky lower canines despite them causing you all manner of discomfort.

Firsts

First wellies were bought on the 6th August.

On the 20th August you did your first poo in your potty. Granted, I saw the signs and asked if you’d like to sit it on it, but you did and you did your poopeedoo like a big boy. We then toddled off to the bathroom to put it in the toilet and you flushed it away then we washed you hands cheering the whole time. You were so pleased with yourself, and a little transfixed that you watched your poo vanish. Such a boy. I won’t put a picture of this up.

Character

Inquisitive, head-strong, determined, funny, empathic, funny… The list could go on and on. I love how you love the outdoors so much, never happy being stuck inside for too long. You’re at your happiest roaming around on the grass or the beach, looking at the flowers and bugs with deep fascination and eager to learn.

Speech

No real progress, though having said that, whilst you’re not talking you’re certainly communicating with no problem. We have absolutely no problem understanding what you want. You pull at our clothing (or even try and drag/push/turn us to where you want us to be and point at what you want. The other day you oriented at your cow and then at the corridor because you wanted us to take your cow to the top of the corridor. You’ve started smacking your lips when you want water and can’t find your cup. You shake your head when you want to tell us no, you clap or smile or cheer when the answer is yes. We give you choices and on second asking you cheer when the choice you want is mentioned. In the last day or so you’ve taken to making a hissing noise and we’ve discovered this is for a snail so perhaps you’re trying to learn an ‘S’ sound.

Entertainment

Tools. Any thing and everything is a screwdriver right now and god forbid a real one comes into your view. To being said I bought you a little toy tool kit which you love.

Lawnmowers. We’ve found a new fascination, one that rendered you motionless for about 15 minutes in the car park watching the gardener. Bless you, you were awestruck.

Cars and steering wheels. You now ‘drive’ round the world with your steering wheel (plate). We seem to have cracked your hatred for the car seat by allowing you some time in the drivers seat on our lap playing with the wheel and controls. After 5 minutes we say goodbye to the car and you willingly get in your seat. How long this will last for is anyone’s guess, I’m hoping this is the answer for now.

Wind Turbines, or windmills as we are referring to them as, for now. You are still totally in awe of these majestic, beautiful structures which makes driving a little more exciting for you when there are lots around.

Dancing and music are firm favourites and you insist Daddy and I join you when a certain piece of music comes on during Show Me Show Me. You are so funny to watch and have begun to shake you leg (having to hold onto the sofa to do so).

Sleep

Due to the weather being pretty awful I have finally cracked you napping in your cot. Go me! This means I don’t have to trudge around in the rain anymore and you nap a good couple of hours (except when they’re digging up the road behind us and building a deck next door to us, but on the whole it’s pretty much that time).

On the 19th, on returning from Swad, you slept or a full 12 hours… Uninterrupted ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰ I fully expect your 4am wake ups to resume, but for that one night it was bliss.

Growth

Again, due to nap timings, I haven’t got you weighed. However, we did get your feet re measured on the 18th and you have gone up a whole shoe size since your first shoes, 5 months ago.  You are now a 5.5G.

Feeding

New Tastes: Poppadoms

Goodbye

Today we said goodbye to you for the last time Daddy. It broke our hearts. You would have been so proud of the turn out and I hope you could see how many people came to see you on your way, pay their respects and celebrate your life.

I was so proud to hear how many people you had touched, how many people admired you, how many people respected you. I loved hearing their anecdotes of you stemming right back to your Chellaston days and through your RAF days, Nigerian days and, more latterly, your Rotary days.

Simon did you proud by reading that poem. I’m not sure how he held it together, but he just about managed it. Andrea was amazingly strong and a comfort to us.

Thank you for mentioning mum in your thanks and thank you for your words about us. I hope we continue to make you, and mum proud of us. If I am a mere fraction of the people you both were then I shall be happy.

I hope you’re having a good ‘catch up’ with mum up there, I miss you both so very much and will do for as long as I live.

So goodbye Daddy, the world has lost one of it’s true gentlemen and I have lost my idol.

  

The G Word

On the 31st July 2015, my darling, funny, intelligent, witty, kind Daddy lost his fight with Multiple Myeloma and passed away peacefully at St Giles Hospice, Whittington.

He was transferred to the hospice exactly a week before and we were all called on the Saturday to get up there ASAP if we wanted to see him. We all did. I got there at about midday, my brothers were already there and I found dad very unwell but at least conscious and talking, if what sporadically.

I spent until the Monday with him by which time his speech was less and apnoea lengthening. We had to come home as I have no one that can look after Noah, David had to go to work and a Hospice isn’t the place for a 20 month old, it’s simply not fair on the patients nor my father who deserved some peace.

This is where it begins. The debilitating, unimaginable and unchangeable. The Guilt.

You see we were all there when my beautiful mum left this world. My brothers, my Dad (they had divorced many moons ago and my dad remarried, but they had remained friends and he was there), my ex. This left me scarred for a long time, the only memory I had of her for a very long time being the moment she passed but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We were there for her in what was probably her most terrifying moment and I’m glad the last thing she saw was all her children and I would suffer my entire life and be happy knowing that she felt secure in that moment.

We had planned on going to see Dad again the following weekend. I phoned the hospice daily for updates ‘very poorly, unconscious, no change’ was the reply each day. This gave me hope that I would be able to be with him too. I felt that I owed him at least that.

My eldest brother went up on the Thursday and he told me Dad was unconscious but the same, on the Friday morning at about 0900 he told me his breathing had changed, by 0930 he had gone. The day before I was due to be there. The day before I wanted to be there. The day before I needed to be there… for him, for my Dad, but I wasn’t.

So much guilt is wrapped up in grief. So much I wasn’t aware of. Along with the incredible sense of loss, heartache and anger comes this new emotion I hadn’t experienced in grief before. You see with mum I was there, totally. I felt lots of things when grieving her loss but I never felt this level of guilt. I’m not saying I didn’t experience it, I felt guilty about some things but they were things I couldn’t have changed and were done for her benefit (or what we thought was her benefit).

This guilt with Dad is slowly eating me up and I know nothing I do or say can change anything or take it away so have to somehow come to terms with it, deal with it and get over it, but I’m struggling.

I should have spoken to him more.

I should have gone to see him more.

I should have taken Noah to see him more.

I should have told him I loved him more.

I should have known him better.

I shouldn’t have stuck my head in the sand.

I should have been there. I should have been there, at the end. Like I was there for mum. I feel I have let him down. I feel that he must think I love him less because I couldn’t give him what I gave mum at the end, my time. 

On Wednesday we say goodbye for the final time and I’m dreading it.

I love you Daddy and I’m so terribly, terribly sorry.

Mother’s Day

My mum, my beautiful, intelligent, funny, witty, kind, caring, popular, strong, heroic mum… where do I start? She is quite possibly the love of my life, second only, since November, to my boy.

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She sacrificed so much for us, she worked tirelessly to bring the three of us up to respect and care for others. She raised us single handed when my Dad had to go to Nigeria to work, she scrimped and saved to give us what we needed and often what we wanted. She was known not to eat herself so we had food on the table at a particularly bad time financially, working two jobs then coming home to do freelance typing just to pay the bills. She threw us the most amazing birthday parties, kids loved coming to our parties, in fact kids loved simply coming to our house for her cakes and warm welcome, never did she make them feel uncomfortable or in the way when I’m sure at times they were. I have the most wonderful memories of my childhood with her. She was strict but fair, we were never spoilt where objects were concerned and if we were naughty she never failed to punish us, the worst punishment of all was knowing she was disappointed or ashamed by our behaviour. However she loved us openly and never ever made us feel that we weren’t the centre of her world as she was ours.

As I grew into an adult our relationship changed from mother/daughter to best friends, we did pretty much everything together. We holidayed together, shopped together, worked together, often lived together, partied together, cried together and laughed together. Not a day went by when we didn’t talk except when I went travelling where phone calls were limited to, at the very least, once a week. She never turned us away, never made us feel that we couldn’t turn to her if we needed her and we so often did. She sacrificed so much for us and never asked for anything in return except that we be happy.

She’s the strongest woman I know, she’s a fighter, she tackled everything head on and with gusto. She wouldn’t let anything defeat her without a damn good fight.

In 2000 she was given the devastating news that she had cancer of the breast. Again she put on her bravest face and started the biggest battle of her life, never letting her humour or smile evade her, not in front of us anyway. She beat it after months of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I have never been so totally in awe of someone in my life, her bravery and positivity were inspiring to more than just us. She wasn’t just our hero, she touched the lives of so many people and rarely lost touch with anyone she came into contact with and as such had hundreds of friends across the world. This was never more evident than at every birthday and Christmas where the sheer number of cards that she received spoke volumes.

Unfortunately the cancer returned years later, it had metastasised and again her battle began to prolong her life. She fought it so well until unfortunately her body couldn’t fight any longer. Our relationship changed again and as her health began to fail I became her carer. It was my turn to look after the woman that had looked after me for 35 years and yet still her foremost concern was us and how we were. She never ceased to amaze us and despite medical opinion she saw in her 70th birthday, filling her room at the hospice with well wishers to bursting, so much so I was literally pushed out the patio doors. Even here she made friends, the staff loved her, she filled the place with light and laughter even when she was obviously in so much pain. That year, 2008, I celebrated my last Mother’s Day with the woman that defined me. Unfortunately 9 days after her birthday, on April 13th, we lost our brave, beautiful, wonderful, precious mother. Our hearts broke and continue to break to this day. Not a day goes by where I don’t think of her and miss her. A hole was left which nothing can ever fill.

The last five years I have tried to hide from Mother’s Day. I avoid card shops and florists, I turn my head away from gift shop windows in the run up and tend to lock myself away on that Sunday so as not to see the happy faces of mothers and daughters out on walks or out for lunch. I’m jealous you see and bloody angry that this evil disease has robbed the world, us, of such a precious person when there are so many wicked people still roaming it. I hate Mother’s Day.

Now here I am in 2014 no longer avoiding it but being the centre of it because now it’s taken on a whole new meaning… It’s now my badge of honour. I am now that mother to be celebrated. I’m not sure how I’m going to cope with this change having harboured such ill feelings for the last 5 years. I hopefully got all my tears out of the way last night in the hope that there won’t be any sad ones shed today.

I find myself missing my mum even more since the birth of my beautiful Noah. She would have doted on him and I feel he’s been robbed of this beautiful woman, of a doting grandmother so although this is now ‘my’ day I still find myself struggling to see it that way, I feel like a fraud, in my mind it will always belong to the woman that brought me into the world, she was a real mother.

My mum was my first love. She was my life. She was my everything. Now it’s my turn to hopefully give Noah the same wonderful memories and to instill the same moral and social principles. She’s a tough act to follow but I hope I do her proud.

Happy Mother’s Day Mum, I love you.

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