Mum was incredible.
I feel incredibly privileged to have had her as my parent for 21 years. She was a palliative medicine doctor at both the local hospital and the local children’s hospice. I have fond memories of playing on the disabled swings at the hospice and I’m so grateful that I was exposed to young, disabled, people so early as it’s meant that I just don’t have the same prejudices about disabled people as I might otherwise have had.
Mum played badminton and tennis, she picked up the saxophone with me when I was 11 and wanted to join the school band, and took off with it, playing in local bands and with her new-found musically inclined friends.
She was part of a gossip/book club, ran a Fairtrade stall at church and did pilates once a week. Despite all of this she still had time to sit and watch TV with us on an evening, and chat about our days.
Mum had a strong Christian faith. She believed that she was a sinner, just as everyone else was. Throughout her illness she had faith that God had given her so many days, and that she’d lived those days to the full. I’m still grappling with this faith and trying to find it for myself.
She taught me so many things throughout our short time together. Aside from general morals and values, and the importance of saying please and thank you, she taught me to bake from a young age (she made a cake for the family every Monday), and once she was off work with chemo she taught me how to knit. They are skills I hope to pass down generations of our family.
I loved, and still love, my Mum so much. I think about her every day and I miss her. I miss her and I need her, but I have to just rely on memories and things she’s taught me, now. I still see her in little things and hear her all the time. Slowly, slowly, I’m learning to live life without her.