Exactly a year ago at this time of night, I was sat by the side of my Mum's hospital bed. I had returned from the trade show to find her condition worsened. After hours of trying I finally tracked down her consultant, who for 4 weeks had been telling us that she had nothing wrong with her and she was taking up a bed. I listened carefully as he explained that she actually had terminal lung and bone cancer and had only 6 weeks left to live. What do you say to that..?? How do you react.?? Do you scream, do you cry, do you smack him one..?? Or do you go back up to give the news to your siblings and then your Mum..?? They took it really badly, she took it in her stride, saying she knew all along and now she could go in peace.
Whilst sat at home later in the evening I got the sudden urge to go back. As I entered the quiet ward she turned and gave me the most beautiful smile and was so pleased to see me. I thought my heart would break as it was something I had spent years longing for. She was very distressed and the nurses were wonderful, trying to make her as comfortable as possible. I held her hand and stroked her hair and tried to get her to drink or eat something. she wouldnt and when I said she needed to keep her strength up to fight, she turned to me and said " I don,t want to fight anymore , I need to go". She wanted me to stay, as she was frightened and I did until about 3 in the morning when the nurses persuaded me to go and get some sleep and come back in the morn to start arranging a move to the hospice. As I got to the car, I turned and started to go back in but felt foolish and so went home. She went into a deep sleep and died that afternoon without coming round again.
For the whole year I have severly regretted not swallowing my pride and going back and I have punished myself daily for not staying with her. But on the eve of her anniversary I now realise that it can,t go on and I need to make my peace with myself. I dont know what made me go back that night, but I am so grateful for those hours we shared, just Mother and Daughter. I will always treasure that beautiful smile she gave me and the love , that I so craved, that was conveyed in it. I didnt get to spend a great deal of time with her along the years and I feel that was our special time. It doesn't matter how long I was there, just that I was. I have come so far along my journey and faced things I couldn,t when my parents were alive and I know they know I always loved them no matter what I said or did to show otherwise. And I also now know that a "difficult" relationship doesn,t mean I wasn't loved, it was just harder to realise.
As we come to the end of the first year of my new life and understanding of my nature, my personality and my make up. I am proud that a lot of it comes from my Mum. She wasn,t handed an easy life, but she gritted her teeth and got on with it, always putting others first. She would do anything for anyone, expect for me it seemed. Now I realise I blocked her all the way, raising my defences and proving I didn,t need anyone. I was very troubled and didn,t know how to explain. If she knew she would have fought tooth and nail I am sure. So here I am, moving on, finding a new life, a new me. Realising that I am not a bad daughter, wife, mother or friend. I am a survivor, and I am on my way to being proud of who I am and what shaped me this way. I hope tomorrow signals the next step in my journey. I know I loved her, I know she knew that. I know she loved me, she knew I knew that. Sometimes it can take the end of one life and the beginning of another to realise that love is unconditional. Theres nothing more to say
"I know you believe in all of my dreams, and I owe it all to you"
Night night God bless Mum xx