Mothers’ Day – A Son’s Story

This could be another ‘Bah Humbug’ moment. Like Christmas, Mothers’ Day is a tough one without Henry but I seem to be gathering a series of surrogate sons, which helps (I’m also lucky in having Sarah, my lovely step-daughter in my life.)

Ayman was one of our first charity beneficiaries. As you’ll see, he’s an extremely thoughtful and eloquent young man who’s been through more than most people his age. And continues to cope.

Last week he had a scan and must have been so afraid of the results: ‘scanxiety’ is a word often used by cancer patients during and after treatment. Ayman posted on Facebook in the early evening to say, “Fourth year cancer scan all clear and I’m feeling blessed!” I immediately posted my congratulations and a conversation pinged back and forth via Messenger (I LOVE it when this happens with the young people we support!) Ayman told me that he wanted to help Henry Dancer Days in any way he could.

Knowing that he writes beautifully, I asked him to write a blog post for me. It was there within an hour – this, on the evening when I’m sure he could have found other ways to celebrate his good news. Please read his wonderful words below.

As the evening closed I thanked him for what he’d written and told him that I could only hope that Henry felt the same about me as he does about his Mum. He replied, “I’m sure he did. There is nothing I appreciated more and I’m sure he felt the same.”

Bless you Ayman x


“I vividly remember lying in my hospital bed asking my doctor how many tumours they had detected in the scan. After numerous attempts at dodging my question, she had replied that they had found 10 in both of my lungs in addition to one very large primary tumour in my leg. I wasn’t a doctor but I was immediately aware as to how grim things looked for me.

Being new in the UK and knowing very few people my mother was the only person I had. Despite her being in a worse position than my own she not only managed to carry her own weight but also mine. She was everything for me, my companion, my comforter and my source of strength. I never forget the day she came to my bedside and showed me a lovely leather jacket she had bought for me. It was a size too small, I told her to take it back but she refused and promised me that one day I would be healthy and I would be able to wear it just fine. I stayed quiet despite myself thinking she was wrong.

My family often say that I had died and that my mother’s faith and prayers had brought me back to life. And, in a way they might be right because I have not only had been given a second chance but new eyes to appreciate the beauty of life and its subtleties. If I can offer you anything I’ve learned, it’s that the world is full of magic things patiently waiting for your senses to grow sharper. I ask you to hug your brothers and sisters tighter, say a little thank you to your parents, meet up to your potential and don’t forget those who helped you get there, eat your favourite food until you feel sick (well, not really)! Don’t lose faith, anything is possible while there is air in your lungs. Don’t wait for your blessings to be taken away before you appreciate them. Live and love without restraint as if you were to die tomorrow.

The photo shows me in my lucky jacket – I’m the one on the right!


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