Take dead mum on hol!
When she passed, I decided to make her dreams come true
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