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Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer

On Mother’s Day - treasured memories of an inspirational woman

by supporter Taranjit (known as TJ) Lotay

As Mother’s Day comes around again, having lost mine on 11 May 2019 when I was 26, I think about everyone like me who no longer has their mum. It’s hard seeing so many families celebrating this special day, but I am determined to focus on remembering all the happy times I had with my mother and how she continues to inspire me every day.

Mother (I always called her Mother, not Mum) was a joyous woman. She loved her music and loved to dance, bringing a creative atmosphere to our home and all those around her. Her joy of life was infectious. Just being in her presence was uplifting.

Perhaps because I was the youngest of her four children with three older sisters, Mother was always in my corner. Even when I felt no one else was, she was there. I always felt more connected with Mother, than I was with anyone else in the family. Even if I had a bad day at work, when I got home, I would go straight to her and sit with her, chatting. She would help me forget about the bad stuff and I would be happy with the world again.

Mother was a free spirit. Even as her health deteriorated because of the brain tumour, and medics and the family seemed to impose a raft of rules on her, she remained rebellious. When she was told by doctors that she had three years to live, she smiled and pretty much laughed at them. She told them: “You’ll see!” And she survived for 10 more years! Her rebellious streak is definitely a side of her I hold. While my father and sisters are money-driven, I see myself as much more of a free spirit.

Mother inspired my love to travel because she always saw such beauty in the world. My love of hiking and especially climbing mountains I owe to her. My love for mountains and nature is her love for mountains and nature. I adored how she would get so excited at my plans to travel and climb mountains; her being so much in awe of the beauty across our planet, made me want to go out and explore.

And when I returned from my travels or spoke to her on the phone from another country – I spent a year in Australia – we would speak for hours about my adventures. She would also have such pride in telling all her friends about her son, the traveller.

And now without the ability to share my experiences with her, I continue to feel my mother’s presence. Every mountain I hike, every cliff I climb, it’s not just me climbing, but it’s Mother too.

Mother was the first person to take me out of the UK when I was a youngster at primary school and she took me to India with her. It was a special time visiting family, but I treasured the time she and I spent together even more.

I can never comprehend what it’s like to have a brain tumour, even with all those years Mother fought one. But on Mother’s Day, I implore everyone who has lost their mum, to dig deep into themselves and know that even if it sounds like a cliché, their mum is not truly gone. It doesn’t matter about your beliefs, whether you believe in heaven, life after death, angels or spirits, or simply none of it, you will always be the sum of your mother’s love. What you do in life today and going forward is a representation of the impact your mother made on your life.

And if you are a mother who is fighting, I know it’s not an easy road. Remember you win in life by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live. No one can tell you when you’re done, until you’re done.

TJ has set up a Fundraising Group called Ascension to help find a cure for brain tumours in tribute to his beloved mother Rashpal.

TJ suffers with mental illness, anxiety and depression, made harder through losing his mother. He is working at conquering this and no longer needs anti-depressants but, as well as fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, he wants to help others struggling with life. You can contact him via tjlotay1993@hotmail.co.uk

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