That’s Mother’s Day almost over, the end of another one of those dates in the calendar that we have come to dread for the last 2 and ½ years. For the past month or so, shops, pubs and restaurants have been promoting Mother’s Day, in the hope of getting business in the build up to Mother’s Day or to entice you there today. You can’t escape it, there’s a constant visual reminder wherever you go. Looking back, those not so subtle reminders were welcome, they would often give me the push to make sure I booked the restaurant or make me think, have I got all the cards that I now need to buy for Mother’s Day? For years, I’d only ever had to buy two cards, one for my Mum and one for my Nan. After Jasmine was born, it was then two cards for Kathy, two cards for my Mum, two for my Nan. Everything changed when she was born, days like Mother’s Day became more significant, more important and more memorable.
Now, those reminders are difficult to see, you know you’re going to have to grit your teeth and still go and buy the same cards that you did in previous years, because that’s what we’ve done each year since losing Jasmine. We’ve carried on. We’ve had to, because to ignore days like this (even though that’s what we would do if we could) wouldn’t be fair on the boys. They still come home from school with their hand made cards and they’ve talked all week about making Mummy breakfast in bed, it’s an important day for them. But it’s difficult. The excitement in the eyes of James and Lewis as Kathy opened her cards harshly contrasted with the pain that was visible in Kathy’s eyes. But what else do you do? The answer is you do whatever makes the day as easy as possible. For us, to ignore the day, would actually make things worse, because of the affect that it would have on our sons. For others, the opposite is true.
We decided very early on that Jasmine’s loss would not cast a shadow over the lives of our sons. It’s important to us that they still have a normal upbringing. We said we’d still take them to parties, go on holidays, go the park, celebrate birthdays and other special events, because that’s what children should do. They need to enjoy life, but that commitment from us, comes with a price. It’s meant that we’ve had to do things that we know will hurt us, when all we’ve wanted to do is go to bed and hide. Two years ago on Mother’s Day, the first after we lost Jasmine, we decided to ask my Mum round for dinner. We didn’t want to, but we did it anyway. The pressure of trying to ensure that things were done as before and that the boys still had a normal Mother’s Day, ended up with me spending most of the day A&E because I thought I was having a heart attack. It turned out it was a panic attack which got that far out of hand that I almost passed out, had terrible chest pain and could hardly breathe. It was the first one that I’d ever had in my life and it took over a year before I had them under control.
Another reason why days like today are so difficult is that you know what you were doing on this day in years gone by as the memories are still pretty clear, although they’re now they’re raw and painful. Mother’s Day three years ago was our last with Jasmine. She picked the flowers that I bought online and then insisted on coming with me to pick them up the day before. She also picked the card that she wanted to give her Mummy and then wrote it when we got home. She was different to the boys in that respect as she had to be involved, it was important to her, which in turn, then made it more important to Kathy. The look on Jasmine’s face when she gave Kathy her flowers was only bettered by the look on Kathy’s face. And that’s what’s different, that pure joy that Kathy felt three years ago when getting her flowers on Mother’s Day wasn’t there this morning. She still smiled, thanked the boys for her presents and card and gave them a cuddle. But it’s not the same, it never will be again.
It’s hard watching someone you love struggle with the hurt and pain that I know she felt today and has done every day since we lost Jasmine, because in many ways there’s nothing I can do as I can’t change what’s happened (God knows, I wish I could). All I can do is be there, in the same way that she is for me.
But as I’ve said it’s almost over, another memorable day almost over, another day that I so wish that Jasmine was here.