There will always been very difficult moments in our lives, more than might be necessary, but we have little choice or say for those matters. There will be the few seconds where you just want to be somewhere else, to be someone else, or to simply stop existing as you cover your ears and close your eyes.
I considered myself lucky, so far in this life, as I’d only had to deal with the odd heartbreak which, looking back, was actually nothing at all. As long as our previous partners are alive, doing okay, still smiling, then we have nothing to really cry or be upset about. Love isn't supposed to be selfish, love shouldn't hold another back and love, above all, is what we really should want for whomever we do or do not know. That’s life, the way of things, but still easier to write than actually do.
A few years ago, within one of those moments, I held my mother’s hand as she felt her heart break into small pieces. She’d just lost her Mother, my Grandmother, to life and circumstance. She looked into my eyes and asked me, “How am I supposed to carry on?” to which I replied with any number of words that simply wouldn't ease her mind, soul or heart. Truly, honestly, there’s nothing that can be said at those moments. Me, being me, carried on being positive as that’s what I do. I smile, I don’t break, I keep on going as that’s what people need in this world. There has to be strong people and I believe that we can all be strong.
In that moment I witnessed my Mother reaching a place that I’d never seen her reach before. She cried, she broke, but only for a few moments. Mothers aren't supposed to show weakness to their children, is what I believe to be her thinking, which is beautiful and truly brave. I know that, when alone, my mother probably cried so much, again and again, but she kept on going as that’s what we do. We carry on.
I can, hand on heart, honestly state that I didn't really appreciate how my mother felt, on that day. We don’t. We can try to place ourselves into another’s shoes but it’s still not the same. There’s a lifetime of events within a soul. There’s love, anger, pain, loss, sorrow, happiness, laughter and much, much more. I’m not sure that anyone can ever truly appreciate that kind of bond when it’s taken from a person.
Then, on this day one year ago, my own Mother left this existence. I type with clarity yet, at this moment, I can barely see the keys as all I can see is tears. I knew that the anniversary was coming, with a reminder this morning from an Instagram post, but it still didn't prepare me. Nothing can. Nothing will.
You see, to most people, they see me as the happy one, the funny one, the person that’s always optimistic, always jumping around and doing silly things. That’s who I am, of course, but there will always be the deeper person within. You see this from what and how I write. There’s an old soul within my body, I don’t know how or why, or even if I believe in such things, but it’s there. But old soul or not, I know that something happened last year, which I denied for a while, but I eventually noticed that I'm broken. I know that I am. I accept that I am. Something changed just as it changed within my Mother.
Like my Mother I also have a lifetime of events within my heart, the thousands of times my Mother held my hand while walking to school. The hundreds of times she brushed away the scratched knee, the cuts and scratches, the time that she pressed her hand against the life support machine praying that I’d live and more. Mother is always there. Mothers always care. I know that it’s not the same for everyone but I'm the luckiest Boy in the world to have had a mother like mine.
I find that, when falling asleep at night, I will recall so many things and I’ll allow myself to cry. When driving I can reach a place that makes me literally scream at the world. Tears and more tears. I will never, ever, be the same again. Life will never be the same again. But that, of course, is the desperate mind at work that simply wishes for things to return to the way they were. I could say that I've accepted the circumstances of life, but that would be a lie and, honestly, I really do not like lies. I could wish to give away my remaining years, in a vain selfish effort to see her again, but that would mean throwing away the gift that my Mother gave me… life. I’ll heal, as much as a person can, as that’s what Mother would have wanted.
Our worlds are built upon glass houses and the strange thing is that the house didn't break, but the foundation, the foundation that’s always been there, is no longer. If a freight train hit head on, breaking every single bone in my body, I’d somehow find the strength to heal and carry on. That would be a mission, something to work towards, but this just made so many people feel helpless. There’s no solution, there’s no recovery, only loss.
Whenever I do cry, allowing myself those brief moments, I can feel the cracks within myself, the straining of my heart, keeping my mind together but it is difficult. I knew, from an early age, that the day would come but, as I've stated, nothing prepares you for the day, that day. One year, to this day, the person that gave me my blood, my soul, my very heart, left all of us. My Step Father, my Sister, my entire family near and far, will never forget as my Irish Mother was beautiful in every single little way.
I love you Mum. Always.