Tomorrow it will be eleven months since Mum was diagnosed with the progressive bulbar palsy form of motor neurone disease.
Mother’s Day might be commercial nonsense – just as much of an excuse to sell cards and flowers as Valentine’s Day is – but it is important to show someone who loves you and has cared for you how important they are to you, whether they are terminally ill or not.
So, dear reader, this blog post is not for you. This one is for my mum.
I bet you’re crying already aren’t you? Don’t blame emotional lability – you’ve always been a bit weepy. I get that from you, you know? James laughs at me whenever he finds me sobbing over a soap. So much for that tough Yorkshire exterior, eh?
I like to think that you’ve always known how much we love you and appreciate you. Even when I was a stroppy teenager and we could have fantastically blazing rows, I hope you know that I loved you really – deep down.
I keep thinking about how last Mother’s Day I didn’t even make it back home. I can’t remember why, although I suspect it was because Hannah came to visit me the day after, so I’d decided not to travel. I can’t remember the card I sent – I know I will have – or the present I gave you. I can’t remember what I did that day instead of being with you. I checked my diary for 26th March 2017 and all I have written is about financial worries and trying to plan for the future. If only I’d known how much my future would change just a week and a half later.
I regret so much those first few months of 2017, when I was so wrapped up in my own life that I didn’t look north, to what was happening with you. By Mother’s Day last year, we knew something was wrong, but I didn’t come home. and I am so sorry.
MND has taken so much from you, I know, but it has given us something good too. It has given us the drive to make the most of every day. It motivates me to make sure I see you every two weeks, give you things to look forward to, and make sure you’re happy. It makes me happy, too, getting to see so much of my daft little mum. You make me laugh all the time. I get that from you too – I am easily as ridiculous as you are.
Just look at all the amazing things we have done in the past year – you finally visited me in London (twice!), we’ve seen OMD live, gone to the theatre for the first time in years and you got married! We’re going to go to Blackpool together for the first time in eight years, and you’re going to see Anton du Beke and Erin Boag dance in York – you’d better be on your best behaviour. No stalking Anton, or harassing him for selfies. I know what you’re like.
You’ve always been there for me, ready to shoot your mouth off at anyone who upsets me, to take me to the doctors when I’m sick and give me a hug when I’m down. You’ve always been in my corner, and I’m in yours. We all fight this disease, together, because we love you.
I’m so glad you’re my mum, and I wouldn’t change you for the world. I want the woman who sits next to me while we sew, gets preposterously excited over the same bands she did when she was 14, who tells terrible jokes and laughs her head off at them, who presses her horn when speeding down a street and flashing her indicators to dance along.
So, happy Mother’s Day, Mum. I hope you like your tablecloth (I spent ten months sewing that bloody thing!) and that you have a blast seeing Anton & Erin. And, hey, I’ll be back in two weeks. You’d better make your mind up what you want to do.