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Dealing with a birth, a death and a marriage, all in the same eight months:

It was a year filled with just as many highs as lows, it was 2012.

Three weeks before christmas 2011 and my grandmother, Hilary, was told she might not see in Christmas. My mother and her sister were already caring for her as she had cancer, but she was a strong women and had been battling it for the last three years. So, she fought it again; I was eight months pregnant with my second child, her second great grandchild and i’m sure it was reason that gave her a bit of hope.

Christmas came and went and my grandmother was still alive, getting weaker by the day, but still there. It got to the end of January 2012 and my daughter, Molly was born. Naturally, we were all overjoyed at a new baby arriving into the world, with so much pain and death hanging around us, this little spark of life made everyone smile. In particular, my grandmother. Of course she adored her, she would adore any baby – who doesn’t? But the way she smiled down at her when she held her tight, was breath taking – how could anyone who was going through so much, manage to see the joys of life?

A few weeks later, my grandmother was admitted to hospital with hypothermia, I think we all presumed it was the end. Everyone was finding it hard. I know I struggled, what with still being full of pregnancy hormones, I was crying at everything and I found that I was struggling to bond with Molly. I look back and I think it was because her birth was complicated. She came into the world blue after getting stuck inside of me- I wasn’t allowed to hold her, let alone feed her until two hours after her birth.

It was valentines day 2012 and myself and my future husband decided to pay Granny a visit in hospital that evening and we took Molly, she was about six weeks, old I guess. We knew it would work one way or another; either my grandmother would love it, or she would be asleep and not even know we had been. Luckily, Molly behaved beautifully and laid on the hospital bed next to her beaming great grand mother for a couple of hours. We couldn’t believe it and I for one, will never forget the look on her face as she held her that evening.

Again,my grandmother, somehow managed to pull through and she came home – well, back to my parent’s house. Myself and Molly visited her every day, while my older son was at school. Molly was nearly two months now and loved lying on her back for hours on end. We used to place her on my grandmother’s bed and they would lie together for a while and stare at each other One day, my grandmother just wasn’t bothered, she didn’t have the energy to open her eyes, let alone speak or smile to anyone – I think we all knew then that the end would be soon.

The end of March came and so did her peaceful death, but she was ready, it would have been even harder to see her suffer more. There was no rest for any of us, or any proper time to grieve. My mother was turning fifty only a few weeks later and a big party had been on the cards for a while. My up and coming wedding was suddenly on the horizon, it had been planned for August of that year for ages. The thought of getting married was one filled with excitement, anxiety and also sadness. I always thought my grandmother would be there that day, especially as I’d insisted on her coming with my mum and myself to chose my wedding dress only ten months before.

My wedding was amazing. Yes, it was sad – a lot of the family present I had last seen at my grandmothers funeral and her sisters kept saying how much I looked like she had done on her wedding day. That all said, my grandmother would have not wanted it to be a sad affair and it wasn’t. It was the happiest of endings to what had been a turbulent few months.

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