Exactly one year ago today my mother died from cancer. In many ways the year has flown by. And in many ways it’s been the longest of my life. I’ve spent months trying to write this article in my head.
I originally thought what I’d do is try to explain what the past year has been like. I’d write about how hard it is to carry on when one of the fundamental constants of your life has gone. I’d come up with some clever analogy that would go some way to give those who haven’t experienced losing a parent an idea of what it’s really like. I’d mention the things you’re never prepared for, like the vivid, recurring dreams where I can talk to my mother about losing her only to wake up and realise it was only a dream and she’s really gone. I was even going to discuss some of the triggers that would mean I’d be fine one moment and extremely down the next. I might even have delved into how it’s changed me inside and how I now view life and the future.
But I’m not going to do it that way. Instead I’ll veer off on a tangent if I may and you can read into it as you wish.
My mother always used to get me to give her foot massages. She’d use flattery, threats, logical reasoning, bribery and any means at her disposal to persuade me to do it. After a few minutes on each foot she’d beg me to give “just one more minute on each foot” with my “magic hands ” (told you she used flattery) and of course I’d relent. Anyway, one thing she would often say was that although I might think it was a chore “I’d miss doing it when she was gone”. How right she was.
But her spirit lives on because I have inherited her love of foot massages and I’ve found myself saying exactly the same things my mother used to say to me when I try to persuade my girlfriend to do my feet. Like mother like son. The circle of life continues…