On 3 May, it will be 20 years since my wonderful mother died.

How this is possible is still beyond me. How I have survived, let alone become a (mostly) functioning adult is still a mystery to me. I am pretty sure that it is largely testament to my mum’s child-raising skills that somehow she managed to shower me with a lifetime of love, support and emotional intelligence in 17 short years.

Of course, if I think about it for more than a second, my heart breaks at what we have both missed out on. My wedding day would have been the best day of her life; she would have been the life and soul of the party, as usual. She would be simply the perfect grandma to my boys and I am sure in them she would have found the only people she loved and adored more than me.

I know many people would feel this way about their mothers. But mine was not just this special to me, but to virtually everyone that had the privilege of knowing her well. I remember sometimes feeling a little bit jealous that my friends and boyfriends seemed to enjoy her company just as much, if not more than mine! At times I lamented the partying, having a mum that everyone thought was brilliant because she was liberal, unshockable; the cool mum. She was a surrogate mother and best friend to many people and had an amazing ability to talk to people about anything and everything. She was a great listener and sorted out many a teenage drama or more serious problem of people that she had no actual responsibility for, but really cared about.

I have yet to meet anyone else whose upbringing was quite like mine. There were times when I thought I wanted it to be more conventional, but for the last two decades I’ve desperately wanted to recapture just a small part of it. Not least because it was the most loved and cherished I am ever likely to feel, without me having to pretend to be anything other than who I really am.

Words will never be sufficient to express how I feel about my Mum, and the fact that she’s not here. She was unfailingly generous, caring, fiercely loyal, forgiving, vivacious, gregarious, demonstrative, dramatic, fun and ridiculously silly. I do know she was an extraordinary person. She was also my best friend, the person I loved and cared about most in the world, and I am genuinely lucky to have her as my mother.

Thank you Mum. Happy Mother’s Day. Xxxx

P.S. I know Princess Diana is getting a statue and I know that objectively you really ought to have the same. I’ll see what I can do……

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