Dear Mum...

I have been honouring Dad a lot on here recently, but want to take a moment to honour you as well...

I know these past two weeks have been difficult - we hit the 5 month mark without Dad on the 6th, it was a year since his diagnosis last week, and now it's your birthday. I can't even imagine how hard it has been for you; although I have felt the emotion coming through when I have been with you. Just know - you are always in my thoughts and prayers as we work through this first year after Dad's passing...

I also want to honour your strength and your love for Dad; what people didn't see are the years of looking after him even before the cancer diagnosis. So by the time the end got near, you were physically and emotionally exhausted, and yet you just kept going; Dad had made it clear he wanted to be at home when the end came, but agreed that if it got to difficult for you, he'd go back up to Waikato Hospice. And yet - you did it, you allowed him his final wish and he stayed home, with you by his side constantly. I can only hope, that if I am ever in a similiar position - I will have the strength to show the practical love right to the very end, like you did.

We worried about you, and constantly whispered between ourselves what we would do if you couldn't do it at the end; but none of us ever expected to be picking up the pieces, despite the whispers, because you are you - and you just do it. What a legacy you have been building over the years...

I know you thought I was being rather bossy in those last few days when I arranged a schedule to make sure you wouldn't be alone... but it was necessary, not just for you, but for us. I needed to be with you, and draw from your strength as we said goodbye to Dad. I also needed to make sure we did as much as possible for you - I know you needed to draw strength from us as well, and only we have those memories to share together with you. Family is family, and there are often sides to us that only family see - and Dad was definitely one of those people, he saved his best (& at times, his worst 😂) for us.

I know there were times when he drove you insane, when you just wanted to throw everything in and run away for a while... but I am so glad you didn't. You have shown us how to work through the tough times, in order to see the sunshine again - something that doesn't happen as often as it should these days. 

I am incredibly proud of how you have handled the whole last year Mum - even now, you are a tower of dignity and integrity; you have picked yourself up, dusted yourself off and with tears running down your face, you have faced the future with resolve. You may feel like you are only going one small step at a time, but you are continually moving forward - and this is what matters.  

I know you still have many, many bad moments; I know you still miss Dad like an unending ache deep inside... and it probably feels like it is never going to go away right now. But there is no hiding for long, you follow your own advice and 'put your big girl undies on' and just get on with life. I don't know how many times you have told me to do just that over the years (sometimes in not so many words 😁); but you practise what you preach, so I know that it is possible.

You are my unsung hero Mum - if I can be half the Mum to my kids that you have been to me and Andrew over the years, then I think I am doing ok (and hopefully my kids will turn out ok as well)! I still sometimes just need a 'Mummy Cuddle' - I don't know what it is, but they seem to fix everything... I think God must have put something special in a Mum's embrace 💖.

I found this poem - I wish I had written it, as it expresses everything I was just saying:

A Mother's Love

by Michael O. Adesanya

There are times only when a Mother's love
Can understand our tears,
Can soothe our disappointments
And calm all our fears.

There are times when only a Mother's Love
Can share the joy we feel
When something we've dreamed about
Quite suddenly is real.

There are times when only a Mother's faith
Can help on life's way
And inspire in us the confidence
We need from day to day.

For a Mother's heart and a Mother's faith
And a Mother's steadfast love
Were fashioned by the Angels
And sent from God above...

Happy Birthday Mum.

I know today is going to be hard, but may you find some little rainbows despite the rain... 

I love you,


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