I have always known my mum is strong, after all she had me in the 80s as a single mother, when that really wasn’t the thing to do. Since the day I arrived she has drummed into me that I can be anything that I want to be, she has always had belief in me, and even when she hasn’t fully agreed with or understood my decisions she has been my greatest champion.
It wasn’t until almost nine years ago though that I found out how strong she was. Our world was forever changed on the 3rd November 2008 when my younger sister Zoey who was 23 at the time, was killed in a road traffic accident. My sister was the baby of the family and next to my grief was the fear that I would lose my mum to her grief, but she truly amazed me and continues to do so to this day.
As she grieved and tried to comprehend this tragedy that her baby was no longer in the world, she also took care of us all. She held my son as his body shook with pain and anger. She was there for my sister’s fiancé and her two young sons. She held her own mothers hand as she struggled to understand how her grand daughter had died before her. She was the one who made sure we still had fireworks on bonfire night, she was the one who dragged herself to MacDonald’s so that her grandsons could celebrate her 50th birthday on the 11th November. She made sure that we all celebrated Christmas even though we didn’t want too.
Her heart broke on that grey day in November and yet she glued it back together anyway she could to make sure that we all survived. She taught me about the true strength of women, and the bravery, beauty and love of a grieving mother.