It was my Mum's birthday yesterday. She died many years ago from cancer. Her birthday isn't any different, I miss her every day.
I'll never forget the last time she looked at me. The night before she died, I had to go home to look after my girls, they were so little at only 23 months and 4 months. Mum was awake. As I left the room we looked at each other and our eyes locked. Her eyes mirrored my sadness. She knew how much I needed her and how much I would suffer.
Those eyes never looked at me again.
That same night I wrote this as I sat beside her. Fairly crude writing it may be, although I was in a world that was full of unimaginable pain that was difficult to understand, and as always I poured my emotions out on paper:
As I sit here watching my beautiful mother sleep I cry inside, 'oh woe why is this?' I expect her to wake and tell me she's better. I'm ready to go home, she'd say, it really was only a virus.
We'd all laugh and think how silly we had been for imagining anything worse. Every morning I walk into hospital and expect her to be sitting up and say, 'Hi' just as she always would.
Oh God, please let it be so.
I can't believe this is it. My beautiful Mum, my best friend and my favourite person to be with. Please don't go. I just can't believe she is going to die. I want to scream and cry and curl up on her lap and call her Mummy while she strokes my hair. I want to tell her what I did this morning, about the pimple on my face, about Charlotte today and Adelaide who's been so sweet.
Please, please God let her stay. I love, love, love her so.
I've said all I need to say, told her how special and wonderful she is and how much I love her. We've shared so many wonderful times and really are, the best of friends. I am so scared to lose her. I'm so scared of her last breath.
I don't want to be brave, I want to hold her back and cry and cry and cry some more.
But of course I am brave, I am her daughter. She is within me. Her strength, dignity and courage are all part of me. Because of her I am strong, because of her I will be okay.
You think your ready for this, you think you're quite prepared. Not true, you're never prepared. Never, ever, never. It's impossible to believe, impossible to imagine.
My beautiful Mum is going to go and I can't bear the thought.
But I am brave and I am strong.
For her, I hope it's quick. It could be today, tomorrow or anytime. It's been such a fight. Mum fought so courageously and with such dignity for so long and held the enemy at bay much longer than most. The doctors thought she would have been gone year's ago.
The battles over and Mum's lost the fight. It's time for her to leave behind her ravaged body and set her spirit free. Then she will fly.
But oh, I will miss her, every minute, every day.
I am so thankful for what we had. It's so much more than most. I just can't bear to think too much about what we had because it just hurts so much.
I love her and I want to be free. We must do just that and set her free. Let her go and let her fly.
With Jesus, with God. Then she'll be home.
Mum died the next day at 1:00pm. We were privileged to all be there beside her. We let her go. We let her fly.
Then I fell into the deepest darkest blackest hole for a long, long time.
To accept that death is just another chapter in the book of life is difficult. To walk through it, be thankful and thrive, is tough. To lose someone we so desperately love is painful.
To crawl back out of the hole and make sure the rest of our life is wonderful, full of joy and happiness may seem impossible.
It's not. And it's what we have to do. We must not give death the victory.
We must fight tooth and nail to take the sting out of death, doesn't mean we won't miss them, doesn't mean it won't hurt; it simply means that we make a decision to live our best life under any circumstances.
No matter what.
'All that I am I owe to my mother' - George Washington
Thanks for reading.
Leonie x x x