Dear Mushroom,

This week has been hard for me. You see, this week it has been five years since my Mum passed away. I was only 30, she 55. She was too young to die, I think, ┬ábut I guess I would say that whenever her time came… I miss her every day but some days are harder than others. The day that Daddy and I got married, the day you were born… These are of course some of the happiest occasions of my life but knowing that my Mum isn’t here to share them means that they are also tinged with sadness.

This week, you will be 18 months – or one and a half. Half birthdays are quite big at this age, I think. You’ve already come so far since your first birthday. You’re now walking and trying to talk and I bet there’s a load of other stuff going on underneath the surface that I have no idea of. Just last week, your keyworker at nursery told me how impressed she was at your level of emotional intelligence. I couldn’t have been more proud of you when I heard this. Your level of empathy is through the roof, so much so that I already find myself explaining that you don’t have to ‘make everyone better,’ even though you probably have no idea what I’m saying. My Mum was like that. She was so open-hearted and warm, she made people feel at ease right away. In her work – as a midwife – she would easily put the new mums’ minds at rest and in her life, she made friends so easily wherever she went and people loved her. I mean, really loved her. I have been looking at a book made by her best friend after she passed away, which contains messages of warmth and love and reminders of what a lovely person she was and how many people’s lives she touched throughout her life. I’m sad that she’s gone but glad that her life brought so much joy to others.

I wish you could have met her, you would have adored her and she you. I see so much of her in you that sometimes it takes my breath away. Those big eyes, such an expressive face. People say the same of me but it’s different to see it in you and sometimes you give me a look that’s so much like her it takes my breath away. Lately, you have taken to kissing everything in sight and the past few days you have been kissing me more than usual. Perhaps you know I need the extra love right now? Whatever the reason, I’m so glad you’re in my life. I like to think Mum is watching over us, helping me find my way as a parent – she’s certainly my benchmark for mothering and I think she set the bar pretty high. She never said this but from my memories I would say that as a Mother, she simply loved us all (me, Auntie E and Uncle L) unconditionally and the rest is just details.

I hope that you know that you are loved unconditionally in the same way and that as you grow up, I tell you enough stories about my Mum so that you can have a real sense of who she was, and how I learned to be your Mum.

Lots of Love,

Mummee (you are finally starting to say this properly!)