A different journey began for me on the day I was born when I was whisked away from my birth mother quicker than a first cry could bellow from my lungs. I was put in a children’s home for the first six months of my life and so those two seasons for me are lost forever. I have no photo album of my existence. All I know is that it was High Summer through Autumn, creeping into Winter before I was found. Held in a portal of time that I just cannot quite reach. I will never know who looked after me, who cherished me (if indeed anyone did) or whether I was left to cry alone and I really don’t like having that empty void. However, the void is worth it for the gift that came to fill its place. A gift that has totally shaped the person I am in so many ways and gives many explanations for my beliefs today. That gift was the person who eventually did find me. The one who was always meant to be. My adoptive Mum. She was the moon and stars in my night and the sun in my day. She was everything to me. She rescued me and was the best person that I could ever have hoped for in my life. That is why losing her 19 years ago was the biggest loss I have ever known. I have often wondered why I am the way that I am with such strong beliefs and always fighting for the underdog. Well my unassuming Mum set a foundation for me in the way she lived her own life. She cared. She cared enough to give up the gift of birthing her own children to be the Mother of two children who could not be cared for by their own birth mothers. She was the woman who only ever took in unwanted and abandoned animals. She was the woman who stood alone before the bulldozers who threatened to rip up beautiful old trees to build luxury homes and she cried deeply when she could not save them. She was the woman who laid the table every night for us to sit at as a family in the morning together and have breakfast and she did the same again for our evening meal. She was the woman who was always there to wave me off in the morning and welcome me back when I returned home. She was the woman who kissed away my hurts, listened to my woes and advised me when I needed it. She was the woman who fought with all her might to beat the illness that eventually took her from us and she did so with courage, bravery and humour. My Mum was smiling to the last. She was bravery at its bravest. I see her now sitting on the edge of her bed telling me she needed to go but still smiling and telling me that the world was a good place and that we would meet again. She was right. I meet her every single day in the multitude of memories I have of her and I thank her with every fibre of my being for choosing me. I miss her as much today as I did the day she died but I know how much I am blessed having had her in my life for the time that I did and she lives on in me and in my children in the way we live our lives - forever in my heart and full of blessings for having had her on such an important part of my journey.