Mothers Day to me has always felt a bit like a date on the calendar that often gets left on the back burner. That might sound mean, but you see, my mum’s birthday is March 11th. So, much like those who have a birthday around Christmas, I think perhaps we have been guilty of overlooking the occasion of Mothers Day.
With that said, let me tell you about my mum…
As I have heard her explain it before, she was born with a ‘rogue collagen gene positioned on the double helix’. It wasn’t until she was 3 years old though that an Orthopaedic Consultant eventually dubbed her with the diagnosis of OI. I can only imagine what a shock it must have been for my Grandma, discovering her fourth child had an incurable disability which was responsible for the fractures that came before, and the fractures that undoubtedly followed.
Dr’s believed my mum wouldn’t walk, would probably never marry or have children, and thought she would struggle to find work and be independent. Whilst her education did take a hit, she was determined to catch up, and almost made it to Medical School. However she was refused this opportunity due to her failing hearing, as a result of OI.
She then married and over the years gave birth to four of us! My two older brothers, and then my twin sister and me. Yes that’s right, my mum hit the jackpot – 2 for 1!
If you’ve ever met my mum, you’ll know her short stature is no reflection of her purposeful personality. She’s the strongest (and most stubborn!) woman I know, and I think only now as an adult myself, can I appreciate the journey she’s had through life, and motherhood. Us kids have all ‘flown the nest’, and she is now living her dream, studying a degree in History and Politics. She reads books like water flows out the tap!
Something I’ve found great pleasure in now is sitting at the kitchen table with my mum, drinking tea, exchanging stories of our life experiences. See how they differ. How times have changed. It couldn’t have been easy carrying OI twins, having OI herself, only knowing the hurdles she had to jump through to navigate a life that perhaps wasn’t built with disabled people in mind.
But nevertheless, my mum has taught me that when you can’t find the way, you can make one!