Mum would have been 80 today.
Instead, she died in 1982, aged 43. I was 16, nearly 17.
I have so few memories of her - at least, so few positive ones. It was a shock to be given a series of photos from her wedding day in 1963... 23 years' old, her whole life ahead of her. She seemed so happy.
To be honest, I didn't recognize her here (and not just because I wasn't born yet). My memories are from a later period in her life when she was ravaged by disease, much of it self-inflicted. It is hard growing up the child of an addict. It has affected my life and my siblings' lives in ways I still cannot completely understand. I only stopped feeling guilty a couple of years ago - even now, I have pangs of 'what if'...
Life. A beautiful gift, and a tragic curse.
What a waste.