You don’t know how special you are. I look up to you more than you know and think of what you’d say with almost every decision I make. I know I can be difficult sometimes and occasionally quite selfish. I tend to doubt myself more than I should and worry over silly things. You sit there and listen to what I have to say, whether you agree or not. You laugh at my jokes, tell me when I’m wrong and always try your hardest to cheer me up. I may not always show it, but I respect you so much.

When I was little, you gave up your career to look after me and I know that must’ve been hard. But, you were there for me when I needed you most. You taught me everything I know now. You tried your hardest to introduce other foods into my life other than tomato soup and mash and beans, however being the stubborn and fussy eater that I was you rarely got anywhere. You taught me how to play and share, despite me favouring Dad after Katie came along. You encouraged me to pursue acting and singing, even though stage fright always got the better of me.

Then along came the teenage years. I became more difficult and opinionated. My way was the right way and you became this nagging and annoying person who didn’t want me to have fun…or so I thought. I did so many stupid things and made a few mistakes. Any advice you’d give me I’d ignore and i’d spend most my time rolling my eyes at you behind your back. There were so many rules. You have to be home by 9pm, you’re not allowed to the under 18s nightclub on a friday night, you’re grounded because you’ve answered back. You’d always comment on who I hung around with too. And what would I do? Hang around with them anyway to spite you and a few months later end up realising that you were right…but never admitting it to you of course.

Growing into a young woman I began opening up to you more and telling you my problems. I’d listen to your advice and began appreciating you. Having left school and college, I realised that my ‘best friends’ were no longer around as much. I started a hobby of photography and you were behind me 110%! Even when I hated my work, you always encouraged me to learn from it and do better. I remember once when I had a problem with a client and nearly threw in the towel. I’d never felt so hurt and embarrassed by her insulting comments on my work. You stood beside me and helped me stand up for myself and sort the problem out. You’ve never once doubted my ability, dreams or determination.

Now, I’m a 25 year old woman who has made a few mistakes, learnt a few lessons. And you’ve been there through it all. You’ve held my hand when I needed comforting and wiped away my tears. You’ve never judged me for who I am or the bad decisions I’ve made and for that, thank you! You are and always will be my best friend.

I know life hasn’t been easy in these past few years and there’s been many dark times. But, you’ve never let it define who you are as a person. Losing Grandma, was one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to go through as a family, yet you took control and gave her the best send off she could’ve wished for. She’d be so proud of you.

And one day, if I’m blessed with a child of my own, my biggest wish is that they get to see how special you are. They get to experience your loving and caring, selfless self. And when that day comes, I can only hope that I’m half the mum you are. Because even half is pretty amazing.

I love you Mum. Forever & Always x