I remember the day my Brother called me. It was a hot sunny bank holiday weekend in August five years ago and we were on a camping trip with the kids. The previous six months had been hard on us all with me travelling 200 miles back and forth to Essex every few weeks to care for Mum during her Chemotherapy treatments.
Those six months were of course harder on Mum. The side affects were awful for her as she battled to beat the disease that had taken hold of her body. I spent those months with her talking about life, remembering past happier times. We talked about the future and Mums plans for retiring to Bulgaria, a place she had come to love so much. Eagerly Mum would tell me how beautiful the Rhodope mountains are and how much I would love it there and that as soon as she felt better she wanted Me, Papa and the kids to join her on visiting her new found paradise. Unfortunately it wasn't to be.
I answered the phone to my Brother. I could instantly tell there was something wrong as he paused before telling me "I think you should come home now...Mum's not good, she's in the hospital."
Of course I jumped on the first train to London. With a stomach full of knots I approached the hospital ward. Mum looked OK, a little weak but OK, She smiled as I walked into the room and I felt a lump in my throat. My beautiful vibrant Mum looked totally exhausted, I could tell she had no fight left. I saw fear in her eyes for the first time.
Mum didn't say anything but later that day my Brother explained that the chemo wasn't working and that Mum probably only had a few months left. I felt like I had just been punched in the face as a wave of stomach churning nausea overcame me and a fear I had never experienced before engulfed me. We were going to lose our Mum. What the hell was I going to do without my Mum. Selfishly, I suddenly realised how much I relied on her as I struggled to absorb what I had just been told. My heart ached a real throbbing pain as it hit me how frightened my Mum must have be feeling.
Up until that point we had been hopeful for a miracle and to be honest we had been living in total denial even right up until two weeks before she passed away we didn't believe she was actually dying. Mum was gone within two weeks...My Mum Gone.
Living a life without my Mum is a constant struggle and I feel like I have needed all my reserves of energy and courage to deal with the grief of losing her. At times my life completely fell apart and without her on the other end of the phone times have been hard. Mum was the glue that held our family together and now she is gone even the relationship with some of my Brothers, who I have always adored has suffered and become estranged. This deeply saddens me and again has tested my courage to the limits.
Mum was always so brave and never showed signs of any fear during her last days...Only Courage, even though she knew she may never see her children ever again. I'm not sure I could ever be so Brave.
This post is linked up to Josies Writing Workshop