Mum left a legacy OF LOVE
WOMAN - UK|January 31, 2022
Jo Riley lost the person closest to her. She explains how she coped with insurmountable grief – and helped others along the way
FRANCES LEATE

One of my greatest fears when I had children was that I’d never be as good a mum as my own mother was. I can remember when I had my first child – a son, Eddie – in July 2009, I cradled him in my arms and promised him I’d try to be every bit as kind and selfless as she was.

Then aged 62, my mum Lynne had been my best friend growing up. I was an only child and Mum was devoted to me. While my dad Leighton was working overseas as an engineer, Mum and I would bake cupcakes together, and when I became an adult, we would go on holidays and lunch dates. Even when I married Dale, then 31, in January 2006, not a day went by that I didn’t see or speak to Mum.

When Eddie was born, and later Rosa, in January 2013, Mum babysat while I worked at my corporate sales job.

But when Mum popped round one day in October 2015, her face etched with worry, I immediately panicked. Mum revealed she’d just been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. She told me not to cry, she wanted me to be strong, but it took all my resolve not to break down.

Suddenly I felt like I was 13 years old again, when I’d found out for the first time that Mum had a lump in her breast.

I can remember being terrified that she would die, and so relieved when an operation to remove the lump had worked. Only now, here we were 28 years later, going through it all again – the cancer was back. I hadn’t even known she was going in for tests, so it was a huge shock.

Over the next few weeks, I went with Mum for scans, tests and consultant appointments, and I made it my personal mission to remain strong and positive throughout. So, when we discovered it was stage-four cancer and it had already spread to Mum’s liver and bones, meaning the cancer was incurable and treatment would only ever prolong her life, I told Mum she’d be one of the exceptions. ‘You’ll live for another 10 years,’ I reassured her as I drove her home.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM WOMAN - UKView All
RELATED STORIES

Alone, Together

Let’s Eat Grandma’s Jenny Hollingworth and Rosa Walton on learning how to write their stories separately after a lifelong friendship.

5 mins read
New York magazine
April 25-May 8, 2022

Ayahuasca Helped Me Connect With My Parents on a Deeper Level

ADELE LAFRANCE, PHD, A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST AND RESEARCH SCIENTIST, BONDED WITH HER MOM AND DAD IN A WHOLE NEW WAY AFTER THEY SHARED A VERY UNIQUE EXPERIENCE TOGETHER., A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST AND RESEARCH SCIENTIST, BONDED WITH HER MOM AND DAD IN A WHOLE NEW WAY AFTER THEY SHARED A VERY UNIQUE EXPERIENCE TOGETHER.

3 mins read
Women's Health
April 2022

The Reluctant GALLERIST

How a rare book seller became an under-the-radar art world powerhouse.

2 mins read
Town & Country
April 2022

How Cancer Actually *Helped* My Relationship With My Body

At 30, 1 finally feel beautiful.

3 mins read
Cosmopolitan
Issue 02, 2022

What Doctors Do to Prevent Cancer

Make these simple lifestyle tweaks to minimise your risk of the Big C

5 mins read
YOU South Africa
21 April 2022

Bodybuilding Nutrition 101

Class is in session with professor Milos 'The Mind' Sarcev!

10+ mins read
Muscular Development
May 2022

PUTIN IS DYING FROM CANCER!

Real reason puffy dictator is rushing to crush Ukraine

2 mins read
Globe
April 18, 2022

TURPIN KIDS' TRAGIC TORMENT NEVER ENDS

Foster dad busted for vile sex abuse

1 min read
Globe
April 25, 2022

A Cyst Bigger Than Twins!

Chanelle Mason had a growth weighing more than 8kg removed from her ovary

5 mins read
YOU South Africa
14 April 2022

Expeditions: Rome

Clearly not built in a day

4 mins read
Maximum PC
April 2022