Gone But Never Forgotten

8th August 1994. I remember it like it was yesterday. My aunt had been battling against lung cancer when we got the dreaded call… they were switching off the life support machine.

My aunt was the eldest of mum’s siblings, and I can say without doubt that I got the most love from her than from any of my other aunts or uncles, and that’s not to say I didn’t get a lot of love from the others.  My aunt was so sweet and funny, and so protective of her loved ones. I was always small as a child and clothes never quite fit me right, so my aunt would sew clothes for me whenever she got the opportunity. I remember one time she made me a kameez (Indian tunic) and asked me to try it on… it was too big, so she reluctantly gave it to my sister and made another one for me, with matching salwar (trousers). My sister’s kameez never had a salwar to go with it. I remember feeling so special.

Another thing about my aunt was that she used to wear the prettiest earrings. It’s probably because she was beautiful, everything looked good on her, but all I had to say was “they’re so nice” and she’d take them off and give them to me. It wasn’t long before my mum clocked on and told me not to say it anymore but my aunt told her off and said she shouldn’t stop me.

It’s been twenty-two years since my aunt passed away. It pains me that I’ve lived more years without her than with her. It breaks my heart that my children never got to meet her. My eyes fill with tears as I try so hard to hold on to all the memories of her. May she be granted a place in Jannat-ul Firdous (the highest level of paradise). Ameen.

I love you, Boro Khalamoni xx

I’ll Never Forget

I’ll Never forget… Monday, the 21st of February, 2000.

The doctor had said mum could come home for the weekend but it’d probably be the last time that she did. Dad kept repeating those words and crying, as we were following the ambulance back to the hospice. Dad used to break down all the time but he’d try to stay strong around mum, making jokes in an attempt to make her laugh. When we got to the hospice, her bed was ready and almost waiting for her. She was being given painkillers constantly through an intravenous line, however when the doctor asked her if she was in pain she’d smile and say no. The doctor told us that people in the final stages of cancer usually scream in pain, but mum was so patient and calm.

Mum always was so gracious in the way she carried herself. She had a gentle, kind manner, but wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. She was breathtakingly beautiful but so modest and sweet. As a mum, she was strict and disciplined but always fair and forgiving. She was full of great advice and made an excellent listener. She always had a way of making everything better. I know it’s clichΓ©d but she really was the best mum in the world.

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