2014 wasn't the best for us. Mum was diagnosed with cancer. She sat my brother and I down to reveal the devastating news, but it was obvious right? What else could be so important she needed to sit us down? But never mind, it's just something else you're going to have to get over. You do with everything else. You're a rock!
Not until my brother asked, "When's your best before date", did it become real. She crumbled.
The next six months were tough and probably seemed like an eternity to her. For everybody else they went far too quickly. She hit it head on in the best way she knew how as this was not going to beat her. She put on a brave face and rarely revealed to anyone just how much she was struggling with the treatment. Why worry everyone? Just two days before the fateful day, it all seemed to be going in the right direction. It was like I had my 'other' mum back. Silly me.
My last coherent conversation with her (the following day) was in the back of the ambulance on our way to Thames Hospice. She told me how much she loved us and was going to miss her family and friends, especially her grandkids, Joe and Sam. She was in an extremely distressed state by the time we arrived but she knew what was happening. The staff were incredibly attentive and caring towards Mum's needs. If she had wanted a can of Coke (she didn't drink Coke), someone would have raided their packed lunch to see she had everything she wanted. Anything to make her more comfortable.
On the 23rd January 2015, just 24 hours later, she passed. Gone!
There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about her. So many memories. Even today in starting my training for this mamouth challenge, all of these memories I had completely forgotten about came flooding back. She's everywhere. My kids will ask me something and I'll remember the exact time and place where I asked her the very same thing. She was always there for us. Still is I guess.
Soooo, on the 10th September I embark on some stupidly ridiculous challenge she and I talked about two or three years ago. I'm up for a challenge but this one seemed so far out of reach I conveniently let it pass me by. But now it almost seems that she's not going to let me forget about it until it's done and I'm not getting any younger so here we are, and what better cause than to raise money for Thames Hospice that did so much for her in such a short space of time. In memory of Marie and in aid of Thames Hospice, please support me by digging deep.
Thank you all.