Mum with me, (right) and our friend Nic, (centre) on the ramp
of our horse-box in a local horse show. Summer 1976
originally uploaded by stitch witch.My mother passed away 25 years ago today. She was only 54 years old. It was very quick. She complained of an aching in her abdomen in October 1984, but did not go to a doctor until January 1985. It took another three months for them to diagnose cancer of the stomach along with the cruel, heartbreaking news that there was nothing they could do for her. I had been planning to get married to my first husband in August, but we were advised to bring the wedding forward, and so I had my mum at my wedding on a hot, bright, sun-filled first day of June. She wore a wig, for they had decided to try chemotherapy, and she had, as happens to many, lost her beautiful hair. This did not detract from her incredible sense of style. She was slim and smart and I was so very proud of her.
It became obvious that she had held herself together for that day, for very soon afterwards she was too weak to rise from her bed. I was living sixty miles away at the time, but had a very kind and understanding boss who arranged for a leave of absence so I could go and stay at home with my parents and help my father nurse my beloved mother for the last days of her life.
It was harrowing, heartrending, unreal. I felt terribly helpless. I could not take away her pain, and though I refused to cry when I was with her, I would reach half way down the stairs and completely fall apart. For here was my rock, my pillar of strength, my comfort. The one person in my world who knew me and understood me, who heard me and saw me, knew all my secrets and embarrassments and loved me anyway, and here she was, suffering, and there was nothing I could do about it. I could not make it right for her as she had done for me, so many times I lost count.
Nurses joined us daily, administrating morphine and quiet, efficient kindness. They were women who had known my mother for years and felt their own sorrow for such a good life taken so young.
On the last day, she slipped into a coma, and I sat by her side stroking her hand - she had beautiful hands - and telling her how much I loved her.
She slipped from us on July 11th at 4:40 am. My father was with her, and I was awake when he softly called to tell me she had gone.
I was 24.
From this year on, I have lived longer without her in my life than with. I still miss her (so much) now as I did then.
I miss the laughter we shared.
I miss sweeping her up in my arms and twirling her around...she was small and light...I was small and strong! She would squeal with laughter and beg me to put her down.
I miss the mini road-trips to beautiful places....listening to Neil Diamond on the car tape-deck and singing along.
I miss our hugs.
I miss our talks.
I miss her beautiful face.
I miss her total and unconditional love.
I miss that she never knew my son.
I miss her so wise councel.
I miss her.
Mum as a young woman ~
I love that she had a wild side ~
as a young mother with my older brother ~
'Rwy'n cari ti mam ~ I love you mum