"There are no words that can adequately express the unconditional love that exists between a mother and her child; there is no person who can take a mother's place. The one certainty that constantly existed in my life from the moment I was born was that my mother loved me and always would.
Being the oldest child of seven, I knew that I was 'special' because she daily told me and never let me forget it. Being told at every opportunity that I was 'special' naturally made me feel 'special' and in time, I came to believe that I was 'special.' I was well into my teens before I realised that every child is 'special' to their mother and I was almost thirty before it dawned on me that everyone and everything in this great big world of ours is 'special.'
At the age of 11 years following a serious traffic accident when a wagon ran over me and twisted my body around its propeller shaft, I was expected to die. When I didn't, my mother believed that it wasn't the skill of the hospital surgeon or the administering of the Last Sacraments by the Catholic Church who were primarily responsible for my recovery, but because I was 'special' and still had great things to achieve in this world. To my mother, the mere fact that I had faced death and survived it against the odds merely reaffirmed my 'specialness' and after the press had described me as a 'miracle boy', I was instantly promoted to being a miracle son in my mother's eyes and remained forever after 'miraculous' in them. When a mother believes so much in a child, it becomes impossible for the child not to believe in self enough to automatically guarantee success.
When I was growing up and had done some wrong, my mother could always sense it, even before anyone told her. She seemed to possess a seventh sense which had purposely been given to her by the Lord to know what I was thinking, even when I didn't say it. It was as if she had been endowed with the power to catch me out whenever I tried to get one over on her.
Being the mother of a Catholic household, she told me many times, 'Billy Forde, know that God is everywhere and sees all things, so it's no good trying to deceive Him as well as me.' While I was prepared to believe that God was everywhere, I also believed that even He took a nap sometimes and didn't see absolutely everything I did, and that was why He made my mother; to keep an eye on me when He wasn't watching!
When you were alive and I'd say, 'I love you Mum,' it wasn't out of habit that led me to say so, but to remind you that you were the best thing that ever happened to me and that without you I may never have known my 'specialness'. You represented to me the wheel of life, a neverending circle that could never separate us. I started within you, Mum, and when you died and I was left without your earthly presence, I felt that a large part of my life had also ended and would never again be quite the same.
When I now think back, Mum, on all your actions I recall, it was undoubtedly you who was the miracle worker and not I. Watching you feed a husband, self and seven children on the smallest amount of food was every bit as big a miracle in my eyes as that of Jesus feeding the 5000 on five loaves and five fishes.
Mothers rarely let go of their children, so children invariably give way to spousal pressure and let go of them. When you died, Mum, at the early age of 64 years, for weeks I cried and for years after I refused to let go of you. I suppose that in my heart of hearts I have never really let you go and while I possess a memory to recall your spoken word and see your smiling face, I guess I never will. I suspect that the umbilical cord that enjoined us at my by birth could not be broken even by your death and that our life is as one until it is no more for either of us." William Forde: June 16th, 2016.