Friday 24 May 2019

This is my life.

In two weeks I'm going to a celebration of life for my beloved friend Soraya. It's timed around her birthday when she would have been 50. A milestone birthday. It wasn't supposed to be this way. She was supposed to be here.

I think about Soraya a lot. The other day I was driving along and I just felt a wave of grief wash over me. I wanted to shout at Soraya for not being here when I need her. In fact I did shout and cried and let the feelings overwhelm me. When I see a facebook memory that she commented on and it makes my heart stop for a moment. this is when I miss her the most. When I see her words and I can hear her voice in my head. I also think about her now because we were birthday buddies. Gemini babies, chatterboxes, loud laughers and proud older mums.

Why is it we only celebrate a person's life when they have died ? Is it only celebrities who get to have a 'this is your life' moment ? Soraya should have been here to celebrate her 50th and (selfishly) mine too. Milestones matter.

When I was celebrating my 30th I had left my first marriage, I was newly single, surrounded by friends and rocking a shorter hairstyle and a slimmer figure. It took a long time to get over that break up, but my family and friends did everything to get me back on my feet.

For my 40th I was significantly bigger as I was expecting Brown Bear. I had a party with family and friends and celebrated this much longed for pregnancy as well as my actual birthday. It was one of the happiest times of my life carrying Brown Bear.

I've talked a lot about how I will be 50 next year and how I want to do something to mark the half century. I haven't decided what that will be yet. However, I do know that for the first time in almost 15 years I will be single, with two fantastic sons and (all being well) an elderly cat. This wasn't what I expected for my next milestone birthday. However, it is where I am.

The thing is, I know is I can do this. Being single I mean.  It felt like that was my entire life until the age of 27. I didn't go out with anyone in school or university and when I was working in London for so many years I never met anyone and formed a relationship. However, in my single years I bought my own flat, made friends with some awesome people, fell in love with making radio shows, discovered a passion for live music, learned to scuba dive and ski, volunteered and worked. Oh don't get me wrong I wanted to be in a relationship. I wanted to share my life with someone I loved and who loved me. While I was looking for this I got on with making a life for me.

Now I am here again, but this time I have Brown and Blue Bear and they truly are the loves of my life (don't tell Neo !) Being their Mum makes me incredibly proud. With this awesome twosome by my side I know I can do this. My friends are reminding me on a daily basis that I can overcome anything and have the determination to achieve the impossible. So here is my own little self-indulgent "This is your life" tribute to me: 

  • I was told it was unlikely I'd be able to have a baby, but I didn't let it stop me. Brown Bear is the living proof of my belief in miracles.   
  • I grew and fed a baby from my actual body. Yes this body that I often look at with disappointment and shame. I carried this brilliant boy and nearly died giving birth to him, but we made it. 
  • The day I saw a photo of Blue Bear I knew he would be my son. It was meant to be and so it was.  My baby boy belongs in this family and the minute I saw his beautiful face there was nothing I wasn't going to do to make that happen. 
  • When Soraya died I wanted to do something big in her memory. Cutting off all my hair was something that was huge for me. Then I also trained to run a half marathon. Me, the fat kid who was always picked last. And I did it !! 
  • When someone I love was in pain I stood in the rain to talk him out of making a terrible mistake. I wanted him to pick me, but I helped him make it work in his relationship. I stand by that. I know in that moment I was putting his needs before my own and I would do it again. 
  • My lovely friend was in hospital and I went to see her with a 3 month old Brown Bear in tow to cheer her up. I took shampoo and conditioner with me to wash her hair because I know how dehumanising having greasy hair can be. It was a teeny thing, but she still reminds me how much it meant to her. 
  • My son wanted to give up on his first (and last) junior park run. Halfway round he was almost in tears and I said, "shall we hold hands and do this together ? It doesn't matter how fast - let's finish together." We did and the look of pride on his face as he ran over the finish line stays with me to this day. 
  • Blue Bear asked me the other day if I had baby photos of him. I showed him some on my phone - including his birth mum just in shot holding him. He smiled at me and asked if I would print the photos so he can put them on the wall by his bed. Yes baby boy, of course I will. 

Of all the things I've done in my life I can honestly say that being a mum is the one that I am most proud of. I don't always get it right - in fact I often think I'm getting everything wrong. I am, however, always trying my best for my boys. They are my world and all that matters to me. I know that when I hear them laughing and having fun my heart skips a beat.

That is what I live for.

I've got this.

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