Who did I call my mother?
I had two mothers growing up; My biological mother who put me up for adoption at 2 years old. I didn’t see much of her growing up, nor my sisters. There were periods were we all lived in the same town and we saw each other at weekends, which was lovely. But my mother, was not the best mother in the world. She had a lot of her own demons growing up and I think this affected her and the way she treated us as a result. My sisters were constantly put into care through their childhood and moved from school to school. My mother and I didn’t get along well as a result of everything. But at the end of the day she was still my biological mother, she still got a mothers day card, Christmas card and birthday card every year. Sadly she passed away on New Years eve (2018) – She had a mixture of heart problems and COPD but luckily passed away peacefully in her sleep.
Secondly, my nan who went to court and fought to gain legal guardianship of me when I was 2 years old. I remember when I was around 6 years old and I called my nan ‘mum’ – I remember seeing her face light up like a Christmas tree. I had the most amazing upbringing I could ever ask for with my nan, nothing was ever too much for her. She took me in as one of her own children and showed me what a real family life should be like. My nan was Scottish, she drank whiskey, she smoked and she swore like a trooper! However, she taught me how to be a strong independent woman and to never break a promise (which I still keep to this day). I am who I am today because of her and the man I call dad (in a previous fathers day blog post).
My nan unfortunately passed away when I was 15 years old (20 years ago!). She had cancer of the oesophagus which then spread throughout her body. The doctors gave her 12 months to live but she died within 12 weeks. Being a 15 year old I didn’t know how to handle this and at the end of my nans life, I avoided her. I spent all of my time away with friends, staying out, anything to steer clear of my nans death. After my nan passed away, I regretted this deeply. I wish I had spent every moment with her, helping her, knowing how to make her comfortable but I didn’t. This regret, I threw into nursing and to my patients; I made sure every single one of them was cared for (and still do). However, the regret I had in my heart also came with anxiety about saying no to people. I took on way too much and if I couldn’t do something for a patient or healthcare professional, I felt tremendous guilt – Like I did for my nan.
I often burnt myself out by over doing it.
This guilt followed me in this way all the way up until just over a year ago. I spoke with an amazing homeopathic lady about all of this and she told me to write to my 15 year old self. But not as my angry, guilt ridden self! As an empathetic person looking back and understanding that I was young and going through a lot. To forgive myself because my nan would – because that’s the type of person my nan always was, very forgiving and loving. It took me a while to sit and write this letter, but one day, all of a sudden it came and I wrote it out. After I had finished with my letter, it was like a weight lifting off my shoulders! All of that regret and guilt just vanished. I have now learnt how to say no when I have taken on too much as a result. I think people underestimate the power of words and writing and how it can have a huge impact on you. It might not work for everyone but it definitely worked for me.
Today I shall remember both mothers who I have lost but also my two amazing younger sisters, who are mothers themselves to my wonderful nephews. They are both such amazing mothers and I am so proud of how far they have both come. A huge love and hugs to all the fathers out there who are also a mother to their child(ren) too.
To all you people out there, a word of advice to you – hold your mothers close, tell them you love them and spend as much time with your family and friends as you can. You just don’t know when their time is up and life is way too short! Don’t live with regrets in this life.