I do a lot of blogging about myself. And whilst I find it therapeutic and a good distraction from other written work I should be doing, I actually also hate being so self- absorbed (what a LOL!). It’s a tough tension. However, this isn’t about me. This is a post about my mom. And my family (my bro & nan) and my home-made family of friends.
Life is a rollercoaster of love lost and gained and changed. It also has the beautiful craziness of indeterminable timing.
My mom is one amazing lady. I’ve been at home in the Donx today. I’ve been locked away in my room working on some of my commission work for Sheff Doc/Fest. In the morning my mom woke me up, asked me where my brother was? Did he come home last night? I had no idea. I was in bed by 9:30pm. Deep sleep by 11PM. Geriatric is the new black. She called him, he was already at work – on 3 hours of sleep – hardcore bro. Relieved she disappeared. I pulled the duvet over my head. It was only 9:30am, I only had like, 9 + hours sleep. My mom came back in, and said, “now that I’ve woke you up. here’s a cup of tea. With 2 sugars, just how you like it.”
That’s like the perfect mom thing. She knows when I get up to work, I have to have a cup of tea to get the day started, and read my twitter feed. She knows it makes me feel warm. She knows I have a super sweet tooth. I never knew until today that she knows that’s what I do?
My mom’s one of the most strongest, selfless and bravest people I know. She’s courageous. And she will do ANYTHING for my brother and me. She has never seen us go without, and always made sure that we ate healthy and well, even when times were extremely strained and hard. We’ve been through a lot together; her domestic violent relationships, homelessness, cancer, death of her 1st husband, financial difficulties, and a whole lot more together. And she carries on, determined not to defeated, and still puts us first. She supports me whatever I want to do. She has been my rock throughout art-school, giving words of support, even though she had NO clue what I was doing. I dragged her to 100s of art galleries in NYC even though she hated pretty much every minute, but pretended not to. Then after I graduated, she let me off with ALOT of rent when I was in between jobs, or saving to go back to the USA. Then after getting sick & doing some illustration work for the NHS, I decided that actually I’m really interested in Medicine and making the patient pathway the best it can be. So i became a student again, and here my mom is. Still supporting her fully grown kid 100% in whatever i put my head to.
I can’t explain to you, just how lucky I am to have my mom in my life. I am thankful and grateful everyday. And I know I need to learn how to emulate her selflessness in my own life.
A few years ago, I was told that it looked like I had cancer. Lymphoma. I was 1000’s of miles away from home. The oncologist told me to go straight home to deal with it. I didn’t believe it, however. And I wanted to stay in America and live my life, despite feeling shitty. I was planning a roadtrip! I refused to tell my mom for weeks. My boss cried on me like 2/3 times that summer, begging me to both tell my mom and go back home for the help I needed. I did neither. I’m brutally stubborn. I wanted to do this alone, I didn’t want anyone to feel like they had to help. I needed to deal with it, and also not deal with it. Then some how my mom found out, and I had to tell her over the phone (one of the most awkward phone calls I’ve ever had to make) and I’ll never forget that conversation. I forwarded her the letter of recommendation of care/treatment from the USA dr to her. I asked her to make me an appointment to see my GP for 4 weeks later for when I arrived home. She did this. But what I didn’t know was that she called her best friend (my god-mother) and cried on her 3 nights in a row. (I’ve never seen my mom do this, ever). My god-mom facebooked me, my brother facebooked me. All pleading for me to come home. I of course, obnoxiously declined their help – and said “i’m fine!” . I still had a pretty awesome time in USA. My mom and I have always had a really strong relationship, so I assumed she would be cool with my decision. I had no idea that by “protecting” her, I hurt her feelings more by pushing her away & not involving her.
Since then, the phone line between Sheffield and Doncaster has been open. My mom calls me even when she’s too tired, and she always listens when I’m not making any sense. I’ve been open to her opinions, and she’s respected my decisions. I’ve been allowed to cry, and she has lovingly held back her tears until the phone call was over. Our relationship isn’t flawless, but she’s been there every painful step of the way. I’ve never loved my mom more.
Equally, my brother is just as equally amazing. He picks me up from the train station. The other day he went to work 1 hour early so he could call into the doctors to get me an appointment for that day. He is extremely generous and I know that if I ever need anything, he wouldn’t hesitate to help me.
My friends, who are also equally amazing also have to put up with a lot of my shit. My lack of patience now, how I disappear to go to sleep early, hospital/illness/pain talk – like-all-the-time. Friends who live long distances, they have to put up with moaning emails about how I feel. And read these whiney blog-posts. They paid for my medical treatments/appointments in USA. They fed me and made sure I was ok. They make me laugh. They make me truly happy. And I never thank them or show them enough gratitude.
I could go on forever about how amazing my friends and family are. But ultimately I am the lucky one who has got to spend my life learning from some of the best people I know, being completely humbled by their awesomeness, and feeling happy because they’re amazing people. They make me want to be a better person, all the time.
Remember UK friends, it’s mothering Sunday next weekend. I’m planning something BIG for my mom. I hope you do too.
Love you guys,