The past few months have been a rollercoaster of emotions with some of the most heart crushing lows I have ever experienced. I have felt tested to my limits, but know that going through these tough times is only making us stronger and closer as a family. When life is this hard, it opens your eyes to the people who really care about you. The people who have rallied round providing emotional and physical support have been amazing. The people who have shown a genuine concern in our situation have made me appreciate the kindness of fellow humans. The love that has been extended has made a world of difference to us as a family and I shall be forever thankful. The past few months have changed me as a person and as a mother.
Through all our recent trials, one thing has been a constant. The love of my children and my absolutely unconditional, neverending love for them. My children really are everything to me. Being their mother defines me. Their pain is my pain. When they hurt, I hurt. I know this for a fact. They bring so much love, pride and joy into my life. They give me strength and give me reason. Five rocks in the sea of my life, anchoring me when I fear being swept away.
But life carries on even when you feel that reality is crashing down around you. There are still special days that beg and deserve to be celebrated. We have so much to look forward to. Wonderful times lie just ahead on the horizon like beacons of hope. I know we are getting closer, just a little bit farther to go and we'll be there. Smiling. Happy. We just need to stay strong.
This weekend we will be celebrating my daughter Ella's and my birthdays. Ella is turning twenty but she is still my baby girl. It's unbelievable to think that my tiny, beautiful little girl is getting so grown up. She is an incredible young woman. She is thriving at university and is using her natural empathy and desire to make a difference to help people, through volunteering and mentoring. I am so proud of her achievements and the direction her life is going in. She is so kind, loving and thoughtful. She gives me so many reasons to feel proud.
So today, I say Happy Birthday to my gorgeous girl. You are a shining light. You give me so many reasons to smile and I adore you for it. You've also wept with me, and I adore you for that too. You care so much about your family and give so much love and joy to us all, even in our darkest hours. I love you to the moon and back.
For my birthday this year, I am wishing that we get through these crazy times to a place where we can look back and laugh. I know that as a family, we can get through anything. We've got each others' backs and we will power through together. Because together we are stronger.
Things will get better and I know we will get closure on this dark chapter in our lives. But I shall be taking all the lessons learned with me, making me a better person, mum, wife, nana and daughter. I won't forget the way I have felt. I won't forget the people who have cared. I won't ever take my family for granted. I promise that I will appreciate every single day that I am blessed with these wonderful people who I love so much.
Even when bad times cast a shadow over us, I know we will be stepping out into the sunlight again soon.