"As Christmas Eve arrives and Christmas Day draws closer, my feelings are always a mixture of happiness and sadness. I am happy to know in this holy hour that my God, family and friends have never given up on me and never will. My feelings are however, always tinged with a touch of sadness as Christmas can never go by without me giving thought to the passing of loved ones and particularly that of my dear mother many years ago. I will never forget all my years between five and twenty-one walking to midnight mass with her one mile down the Hightown Road to the Catholic Church in Cleckheaton.
The greatest hero in anyone's life is that person who never gives up on you. When the going gets tough they help you to stick it out and make it work. They sacrifice things in their life like their energy and dreams in order to help you grow wiser and better. They give up what they want because you need it more. They work hard and overcome all adversity that impedes their long term hopes for you. If they flag or fail for a moment, they quickly get back up on their feet to show you that nobody ever has to stay down. They tell you that they love you at every opportunity and show you through their actions that they lie not. They teach you that having a voice is a courage not to be wasted and voicing your fears and expressing your feelings honestly is a thing never to be denied. They may sometimes stay silent to make you feel more comfortable, but love you enough to tell you when you are wrong, whether or not you want to hear such truth.They are fearless and will do whatever it takes to bring about the greatness in the ones they love because doing so brings them peace and satisfies their prime purpose in life. Their name is Mum and they are the fountainhead of all fortitude and the cradle of your courage.
As my first teacher, mum taught me the art of loving and living and how the two cannot be separated if I wanted to get the most out of each. My mother told me early on in life to give her flowers when she could smell them instead of putting them on her grave. I recall opening my very first wage package at the age of fifteen years and going home via the nearest garden centre. The first thing I bought was a bunch of flowers for mum. Until I first married and left home, I never once arrived home from work on a wage day without some flowers for mum which I bought along the way.
A Merry Christmas to all my family and friends and all you young children out there. Allow this old man to tell you the most powerful secret I ever learned. If you want to give your mum the very best Christmas present she will always treasure, before you go to bed on Christmas Eve, look your mum the eye, smile and say, 'I love you Mum.' Then make your New Year resolution a promise to never allow one day to pass without repeating this action. You can even add dad if you love him also! And when you are old enough to pick wild flowers, pick a bunch for your mum. Mum's just love a posy of daisies from your tiny hands more than the biggest bunch of red roses that the world has ever seen bunched in one bouquet.
You know, you never get over being a child while you have a mother to go home to or remember. Miss you and love you lots, Mum. Merry Christmas from your eldest child, Billy xxx.” William Forde: December 24th, 2015.