This last year has been strange – full of big challenges, good and bad. This time last year I got a phone call from my brother telling me that my Mum had passed away, and things seemed to crumble after that.
November 16th, at work, this amazing big bright double rainbow showed itself, then a day later on the 17th I got the phone call.
10 years before I’d decided enough was enough and my Mum wasn’t someone I wanted in my life. She caused more pain and upset than anything else, and I’d luckily built up a good (non) family network of my own.
I’d thought about what I would do – whether I would go to her funeral or not – and for my own good reasons, I knew I wouldn’t. It might sound sad, but it is what it is and I won’t go into it. What I hadn’t thought about was what I would do when she actually died.
I was a bit in shock at first, my Mum had died, but she hadn’t really been my Mum in a real sense. I knew that my place from then on would be to help my brother (and family), and be there for those who were still here.
I also remembered that I told my Granny that I would make her proud, and I knew that this was my chance to stand up and help my family.
No matter what had happened in the past, no matter how hard it might be for me, I should do what’s right. No matter who she had been or what she had done, I tried my best to do what I thought was right, but I was challenged a lot along the way.
This picture of us taken when I was about 6 months old, perhaps says a thousand words about how we were to each other, a troubled woman and a naive and accepting child. Or maybe it’s just a picture? 😛
I did so much in that first month, after she passed away. Luckily I was off work, but simply picking up her house keys from the police station, and later her belongings from them, was hard.
Even picking up her house keys left me confused. Keys to her house, I was so tempted to take the key ring off it and add it to my keys. Then I felt an uneasy blackness cloud over it all – a reminder that most of what she was in my life was bad.
That was just the start of it. Then followed loads of times where I’d need to reach deep inside and try to keep logic at the forefront. To try not to let emotions take over and to try to forget about the pain and the past. To move on and do what is right.
Walking into her house on my own, which I hadn’t been in before, and through all the mess to come across this passport photo of me when I was about 19. In a frame, in pride of place right where she could see it every night when she went to bed. It was truly crushing.
It was what it was though. I took it a day at a time, then a week at a time, and all of a sudden it’s a year gone. And I somehow got through it all. I leaned on important people in my life, people were there for me, and I got through it.
But now, a year on, instead of nice happy memories or the grief of loss, that most people have when someone so close passes away, I feel an unnerving blackness come over me when I think of her. Like she’s taking back control of me, reminding me of bad times – black oil seeping in. It’s not nice.
If my Granny is the rainbows, my Aunt the moon, and me the sunshine, my Mum is most definitely the dark storm clouds.
It’s horrible, and all I think I can do is to be grateful that I am where I am, because of those who where there for me. Look forward and remember to keep being me.
A year on and when I look back and I feel strange. I’m an executor on her estate, along with my brother, and it’s still rumbling on. It’s mostly done, we just need to sell her house and finish off a few other things. I need to deliver what is on her will, and that I’ll do.
I’ve had some good times and challenges in the last year, holidays, fun times, London Marathon, Loch Ness Marathon, helping set up Happy Paws Glasgow. Work is still good.
My relationship with my brother has grown stronger and we’ve seen each other a lot. He and his wife have been there, and it’s meant a lot to me. And I’ve been able to be there for my Dad and step Mum when he went through his big op.
I’ve been reminded of how important it is to be there for those who care for you, those who are still here. Not to dwell on the past. To visit people and be part of their lives, and to take care of myself to.
I’ve visited and spent time with so many important people (and pets!) this year… time to remember what’s important and get them to help me get through it.
I’ve realised that as I’ve grown up I have made myself a really good strong network of people who care. People who are there for me in a minute, and vice versas, my family. Sometimes it’s not family who become your real family, and that’s ok.
I help people as part of my job, and it’s what I do in life too. Always looking to help people. It’s what I enjoy doing, what I get reward from, who I am. And I think in the last year, I lost a bit of that. I lost a bit of me. I know what I need to do to get Lorn back.
The last few weeks has helped me to remember that I am that person who likes to be optimistic and fun, and likes to help. To be there for others, and I’ll keep doing it. I’ll keep doing what is right.
I’ll keep building strong relationships with those who matter, and I’ll leave what’s in the past, where it belongs. Get that little smiling, fun, altruistic and optimistic little girl back.