‘A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take’.
This weekend, families all over the UK will celebrate Mothers’ Day. Mummies will be adorned with kisses, will get breakfast in bed and if they’re lucky someone will do all the house work and make her dinner for a change. Usually I make a shout out to all my fellow Duchenne mummies on Mothers’ Day especially those whose children are no longer with them but this year there’s only one fellow Duchenne mummy on my mind… my mum!
This is our first Mothers’ Day without her and my heart is broken! Not only was she the best mother in the whole wide world, Mummy was the best granny that Luke & Coen could ever have wished for and she just adored them. She was there when I found out I was expecting both of them and she was ecstatic to be Granny. And when she found out how sick she was with no hope of getting better one of the first things she said was ‘who will help Claire with the boys?’
There is no one on this earth who could ever help me with the boys like mummy because she loved them just as much as me. From the moment they were born until the day she went to hospital she looked after them. Helping with Colic, getting burps up and changing nappies right through to playing in the park, cleaning gullies with Luke and solving brotherly arguments, she was always in the thick of it with never a complaint.
Mummy was my Duchenne mummy. She knew exactly what it’s like to be told your son has Duchenne. She knew how your heart sinks and you can barely breathe for fear of what’s to come. She knew the heart ache of every Duchenne milestone. She knew what it was like to watch something happen to your brother (3 in her case) and know that the same thing will happen to your first born. She knew what it was like to live every day like nothing is wrong when a storm is brewing underneath it all. I will never have that person again. She won’t be here for all the heart-breaking milestones that lie ahead or for all the good times, the times she knew she’d be needed and the times that she couldn’t wait to share with us. We’ve been robbed of the best mummy and granny and its just not fair.
But for 23 years Mummy was a mum without her son and we will take some comfort in the hope that she is now with her first born, Mark, and that somehow they are watching over us and putting their hand on our shoulder and giving us a hug when life gets hard. We will miss them both all our lives and will make sure that Luke and Coen will always think of Granny Darragh on Mothers’ Day and send all their love up to heaven.
I won’t be celebrating Mothers’ Day this year but still send love and hope to all my mum friends on Mother’s Day especially my Duchenne mum friends. May we always be here for each other and each other’s children.