My Mum! She passed away last year and while it wasn't unexpected, it wasn't expected then. It hit me out of the blue, I thought there was more time. I had missed her for a long time (she had dementia), but it wasn't until she passed away that it hit me that this was forever. Logically you know, but the feeling when it happens, and after, I wasn't prepared for.
It wasn't something I had dared to think about. All these questions that needed answering. We had to tell her life story, what was important to her, special moments. Share photos. My Mum was young when she was diagnosed with Dementia - in her 60's. She was scared of it, she had seen her Mother go through it. And we didn't really talk about it - it was nicer to spend time together talking of other things, going for walks, to the playground with my little one, reading to her, colouring in. And then, it was too late to talk about it. What she wanted. And to be honest, I was probably too scared to think about it. Until I had to.
What I realised
Was that I knew her as my Mum. Now I'm a Mum, I know what that means. Answering all those questions for her service at the funeral, going through photos to find the perfect ones that I thought represented her life .. just brought about more questions. A longing to know MORE. I spent days going through her things. We had packed up and sorted her house years before, but there were boxes of things, papers, photos, letters. I went through EVERYTHING... looking for treasures.
What I found
I found little nuggets of stories. Diaries, mostly factual things, but also cute little stories, places she'd been, people she'd talked to. Letters. Letters from me! I found the most gorgeous little stories she'd written from her childhood. THIS was what I wanted .. they made me smile and helped me feel connected. Cute little stories - not the big things .. but the little stories - beautiful memories of life and love. And her handwriting. It felt familiar, it felt like her.
So now ..
I go through life without my Mum here. BUT, inspired by her, I wanted to create something so that I knew my children would find these nuggets, these treasures about my life. That I would know, they would find comfort in knowing these things about me, AND that I could make sure they knew and could read from me how much I loved them, how proud I am of them. And this new project MY LIFE is all about that. It's the first step in creating the ultimate keepsake for my loved ones.