‘I miss mum more than ever, but my mem­ory box from her makes me smile’

Closer (UK) - - Real Life -

Aimee Bolton, 19, a A me­dia pro­duc­tion stu­dent from Es­sex, tells Closer about the trea­sured me­men­tos her mum Theresa left for her and her brother af­ter she died…

“I was so sad when I heard about the death of Rachael Bland. She was so young and is leav­ing be­hind a lit­tle boy, which makes it even harder. But it’s lovely she has left him a box of me­men­tos to re­mem­ber her by. My mum, Theresa, did that for me and my brother, and it’s my most trea­sured pos­ses­sion.

“I was three when my mum was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer. Af­ter chemo, a mas­tec­tomy and ra­dio­ther­apy, she re­cov­ered. But when I was nine, she started ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ter­ri­ble back pain. A scan re­vealed that the can­cer had re­turned and had spread to her liver. Within five months, Mum was gone. She was only 47.

“My brother Daniel, then 11, and I vividly re­mem­ber the last time we saw her alive. She was be­ing cared for in our liv­ing room by nurses. As we took turns to hug her, we said that we loved her, but I was too young to fully un­der­stand that this was good­bye. When she passed away, I went into deep shock. “A few months af­ter Mum died, her sis­ter Carol gave Daniel and I each a mem­ory box that Mum had put to­gether. They were full of me­men­tos that she’d col­lected for us over the years, and she’d put it all to­gether with­out us know­ing. I cried so much when I first looked through it. Over time, it be­came a huge com­fort to me – and still is. “In­side each of our boxes, Mum had in­cluded a jour­nal where she’d de­tailed ev­ery birth­day, Christ­mas and fam­ily hol­i­day we’d had. It was full of sweet anec­dotes, and in nearly ev­ery page, she’d writ­ten how much she loved us. “Mum’s favourite denim jacket and the body spray she al­ways wore was in­cluded in the box, as well as a CD of Mama by Il Divo, one of her favourite songs. In­side the case was a note from her in­struct­ing us to lis­ten to the words care­fully as we got older. Now, when­ever we lis­ten to it, I feel closer to her.

“For my 18th birth­day last year, aunt Carol sur­prised me with a gift that Mum had bought me shortly be­fore she died. It was a beau­ti­ful charm in the shape of an ‘18’. I was so touched that she had gone shop­ping espe­cially for it, even though she would have been se­ri­ously ill at the time. It’s a gift I’ll trea­sure for the rest of my life. Now I of­ten sit down and go through my mem­ory box, espe­cially at Christ­mas or a birth­day. I miss Mum more than ever, but my mem­ory box makes me smile.

“I’m sure that when Rachael’s lit­tle boy grows up, he’ll ap­pre­ci­ate all the won­der­ful things his mum made for him, and he’ll trea­sure them as much as I trea­sure mine.” ● Aimee takes part in the Moon­walk London in mem­ory of her mum. To sign up to the 2019 Moon­walk, go to www. walk­the­walk.org

Aimee with brother Daniel and their dad

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