Take dead mum on hol!

When she passed, I de­cided to make her dreams come true

Chat - - Inside - By Toyah Cut­ler, 37, Wir­ral

When my mum Tracy turned 50, she trans­formed her­self. It was like she woke up on her birth­day with a whole new out­look on life. Dy­ing her hair pur­ple, los­ing weight, paint­ing her nails bright colours, the real Tracy came out of her shell. But she re­mained her kind and thought­ful self. Still a dot­ing grand­mother to my three kids. A sup­port­ive mum to me and mother-in-law to my hubby Si­mon, 56. In her early 50s, all she spoke about was her new­found as­pi­ra­tion in life. ‘I want to get a pass­port and travel the world,’ she’d tell me, flick­ing through glossy travel mags. Hav­ing never left the UK be­fore, all Mum wanted was to see the world.

She had a bit of money saved to get away. But yet again, she proved her self­less­ness.

‘Treat the kids,’ she’d say, hand­ing me some dosh.

We’d plead with her to use it for the pass­port, but she al­ways in­sisted.

Then in July this year, Mum started feel­ing ill. ‘It’s just flu,’ she as­sured me. A GP ran some blood tests and we dis­cov­ered she had dan­ger­ously low sodium lev­els.

Her younger sis­ter Vera rushed her to the hos­pi­tal.

Mum was sick as soon as she walked through the doors. And she be­came more and more dis­ori­en­tated. A few days later, she had a fit. Doc­tors de­cided it was more than just her sodium lev­els. But they didn’t know what was

wrong... She was tested for menin­gi­tis, viruses, rare dis­eases. Each doc­tor had a dif­fer­ent idea – each was wrong.

MRIS and ul­tra­sounds also came back clear.

The only way I could de­scribe her be­hav­iour was like that of a de­men­tia pa­tient.

‘You haven’t changed your clothes since the wed­ding,’ she laughed to Si­mon.

Our wed­ding was years ago. But it wasn’t funny. It was ter­ri­fy­ing. What was wrong?

Mum’s con­di­tion wors­ened. She had good days and bad days, some­times chat­ting to us, know­ing who we were. Some­times not. Then they dis­cov­ered prob­lems with Mum’s liver. She started bleed­ing in­ter­nally. Her or­gans were fail­ing.

Ev­ery­thing hap­pened so quickly.

All we could do was sit at her bed­side, pray for a mir­a­cle, still

clueless as to what was wrong. Soon, she was in car­diac fail­ure... And, on 7 Au­gust this year, my mum passed away peace­fully, aged just 54.

Numb with shock, a thought struck me.

‘She never got the chance to travel,’ I cried to Si­mon.

She thought there was plenty of time. We all did.

Days later, en­veloped in grief, I felt I needed to do some­thing to make Mum’s dream come true.

Is any­one on hol­i­day at the mo? I posted on Face­book.

As peo­ple en­quired why, I ex­plained my idea. I wanted to get Mum abroad, even if it was a just her photo.

I asked any­one head­ing off on their hols to take a pic­ture of Mum’s photo by the pool­side, rid­ing a camel, in the sea...

Any­thing Mum could’ve done if she was alive.

My mum’s niece Natalie got the first snap from a friend, be­side a pool some­where ex­otic.

When I saw it, a smile spread across my face for the first time in weeks.

I set up a Face­book group and it spi­ralled from there.

From friends and fam­ily to strangers, ev­ery­one got in­volved.

Now, Mum’s trav­elled to Egypt, Las Ve­gas, Kenya, Aus­tralia... the list goes on. Over 60 dif­fer­ent des­ti­na­tions! Eat­ing fruit from trees in In­dia, cheer­ing at the foot­ball in Barcelona – she’s done it all!

‘Where are you off to to­day, Mum?’ I’d say as I opened my phone to dozens more mes­sages.

A few weeks af­ter mum’s death, a post-mortem con­cluded she had mul­ti­ple can­cers.

We still don’t know why the hos­pi­tal tests didn’t pick it up. But it’s too late. All she wanted was to travel, to see the world.

Now, in a way, she is.

She thought there was plenty of time. We all did

On her chill­ing trav­els: with pen­gui ns in the Antarct ic...

at a ...cheer­ing on Madrid Barcelona v Real match in Spain

out ting get Eas t: an. .. g Jap din utin Hea abo and ...and re­lax­ing beach in on the Sri Lanka. would have Mum loved it all! .... fly­ing high in Cana da

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