I know that normally I complain about stupid stuff like car air fresheners and generally take the mickey out of myself, but I want to be serious for just a couple of minutes.
My life is blessed. Honestly, it’s awesome.
You know why?
Because I am alive.
And everyone I love, apart from my grandparents, (and that’s sort of normal and OK, even though I have dreams where they are alive and wake up sad), everyone I care about is alive. No one I know has died tragically. No one I know has experienced the ultimate trauma of losing a child.
I know it’s kind of obvious, but sometimes it is worth saying. Sometimes it is worth just taking a minute and saying ‘do you know what, I am so bloody grateful that my life is normal, and that nothing really disastrously shitty has ever happened to me.’
I am writing this on the train on the way home from the Tesco Mum of the Year awards – I wanted to capture my feelings now while I am still raw with emotion from hearing the stories of the winners and my cheeks are blotchy from crying. I don’t want to look back in a few days and think ‘oh yes, that was fun, I got to mess about taking selfies with Gail from Coronation Street’, I want to do it now, when I have been consumed with that feeling of wanted to ACT. I want to contact every Tesco Mum of the Year Award winner and offer them all of my money. I want to DO something. I don’t want to sit and watch stuff happening around me, I want to DO.
Can you even imagine losing your eight year old daughter and having the motivation to do anything other than sit in a dark room drinking gin? Laura Young did. Laura started a charity – the Teapot Trust – using art therapy for kids in hospitals to make their visits not quite as crappy as they might otherwise be. Laura lost her daughter Verity at eight years old and it was Laura’s story that tipped me over the edge and saw me with tears rolling down my face when I was trying oh so hard to look cool and glamorous just in case the cameras were watching me.
It was Laura that made me stop and think about just how fragile and precious life is and how easily it can snatched way from us, even though we take it so much for granted. We spend literally years building up these precarious lives around us, we agonise over ridiculous things like catchment areas, when what really matters is that our children are alive and that we can speak to them any time we want to.
Just think about it for a minute. Your kids might annoy you sometimes, but just think about what it would feel like never to hear their voices again.
You can’t really can you?
Please, if this post has pulled at you heart strings at all, please take the time to read the stories from the Tesco mum of the year award winners, to watch the show this Sunday at 6.10pm on Channel 5, (you might spot me…), and to think about whether there is anything, anything at all, that you can do to help.
Disclosure: I am a Tesco Mum of the Year Blogger Ambassador
Very moving story. I’m currently writing down a reason I’m lucky every single day, it helps to focus on what we have not what we don’t doesn’t it.
wow. Thanks for this, it’s put my slightly fraught week in perspective, with a huge reality check. What inspirational women you met there!
Oh, this post has me crying. I have one child with a serious heart condition and three healthy children. I thank my blessings every day that we are a happy little family as I know one day it will be very different.
Laura is an inspiration. I met a lot of mums at the weekend who had lost their children to the same condition as my son and they are all doing so much fundraising and giving support to us other parents. They do it in loving memory of their wonderful angels.
Life can be so heartbreaking, can’t it xxx
Gosh it must have been hard to sit and listen to those heartbreaking stories, you just can’t imagine something like that happening to you or your family, but it does happen to lots of people. I just can’t believe how brave and amazing some people are!
Beautiful post Jo, it was spine-tinglingly moving on Sunday
Wow, what a powerful post! How brilliant to meet such inspirational mums. Stories like that really do put everything into perspective. I’ll hug my 3 a little tighter tonight…
gosh I would have been sobbing too, I’m quite teary just reading this. I have no idea how parents who cope with losses like this can ever get up and do anything again let alone something this inspirational. Amazing x
oh my. sobbing at work, thanks for that – needs a ‘not safe for tea break’ warning at the beginning. I donated a tenner to the Teapot Trust to try and stop the tears.
Heartbreaking :( x
What a truly amazing lady / ladies. I think sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in our own lives that we don’t stop to think of all the things we have to be grateful for x
Gosh I’d have been an emotional wreck too! Those woman are amazing