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