This past weekend was Mothers Day. I am sure that many of you celebrated Mothers Day in some shape or form and I think that it is important that you do. But not just to celebrate the day but thank your mum for all that they do for you. For me, it highlights the very fact that I could have been without my mum had it not been for our fantastic NHS and the amazing research that charities such as Cancer Research UK are carrying out.
I am the first to admit that I used to far too often take for granted the life that I had and the people that are around me. In lots of ways I think it often takes a significant event, like cancer to wake you up and put your life back in perspective. When mum first got cancer I was about one year into my job and in virtually every way, life was going rather smoothly. I was achieving everything that I wanted to, I was travelling to different places and had the opportunity to spend some money on things that I really wanted. As all of this was happening I think I began to neglect the fact that there were so many members of my family who were helping me achieve all of those things. Who were supporting everything that I did and encouraging me to do more. Ultimately, without their help and support I may never have achieved the things that I have.
When mum got ill it gave me a serious reality check, in a good way. As much as her being ill really did suck, it made me appreciate what she does for me. When I have an idea and pitch it to mum, I can often tell that she thinks I am a bit mad. She fires a few questions at me and sounds my idea out. But in the end, she will always support my ideas and the directions that I choose to take in life and that is a truly wonderful.
So many people don’t chase their dreams or follow through with their ideas purely because they don’t get the support and encouragement they need to give things a go. People are far too scared about what others will think of them that they don’t press ahead with the things that they want to achieve most. When I was 18 years old applying to the Fire Service my chances of being accepted were small, but mum supported my application all the way. When I said that I was going to apply to the International Search and Rescue team she supported my application all the way and when I decided that I was going to try and raise £1 million for Cancer Research UK, she supported me all the way. Side note – I am pretty confident that she told me I was crazy on this one! But despite thinking I was a little mad and slightly overambitious she backed my decision to take on this challenge. I know that as time goes on I will come up with more ambitious and crazy ideas because I think that is just the way I am. But I know for sure now that when I do, mum will back them all the way.
We shouldn’t only tell them once a year that they are special and that they are so integral to who we are. But we should celebrate our mums all the time. Unfortunately for so many; I will confess to being guilty of it myself, we fail to realise what we have until it is taken or nearly taken from us. We should never need that wake up call and I think that now that I have had mine I shouldn’t ever need another one again.
“It is not the situation, it is how I react to the situation that is important” – Stephen Sutton
Through all of the times that mum has been ill she has always been a voice of reason. Calm and matter of fact. I like that. Because I always know where I stand and how she is thinking. There is always a moment of realisation and contemplation about what lays ahead, but mum has taken both of her cancer diagnosis in an extremely admirable way. She has set an incredible example of how to tackle one of lives least desirable illnesses. That sort of news would have broken so many, but she stood steadfast and in a lot of ways, laughed in cancers face. I have never seen anyone so amused at the sight of losing their hair. She really is quite incredible.
It is now, after a number of years of ups and downs in mums health that I really understand what it means to have a mum who is supportive and caring. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am had it not been for mum over the years. Thank you mum. For everything.
I know that everyone thinks that their mum is the best… But honestly, they’d have to be pretty special to be better than my mum.
My mum is the entire reason that I started this, the reason I made a pledge to try and raise £1 million for Cancer Research UK so that others can have their mums just like I still have mine.