I Love You Mum, by Stacey Johnson

My mum has been my rock and best friend though out my life and has been there every step of the way. I was diagnosed with epilepsy as a toddler. I was not old enough at the time to understand, but as I got older and more aware, my mum helped me to cope. When I was 14 years old, I was diagnosed with s.l.e [ lupus ]. Lupus is a blood disease where white cells attack instead of defending, the bones, heart, lungs etc. It can also mimic other diseases. It can be medicated but cannot be cured. It can be passed on though the family - my mum has lupus herself which was passed on to me.

At 17 years old I was diagnosed with CFS [ chronic fatigue syndrome] which is very similar to M.E.. With all these problems my mum has helped me to cope and understand. Although she is very ill herself and had 4 other children, she helped me to lead a normal life.

My mum supported me when I found out I was pregnant with my first child and my second child, although I had been told I couldn't have children. When I told her I was pregnant and keeping my child, she supported my decision and didn't try to change my mind. I first thought it was my only chance to have a child but I was then blessed with my second. Now I am unable to have any more because of my problems. Over the last 13 months my mum has helped me with post natal depression after my second child was born which was a bad time.

During my marriage my husband was verbally and physically abusive towards me, I didn't tell my mum at first because she had been though the same with my dad. When I told her in January last year, she helped me with a solicitor to leave my husband after nearly 2 years of marriage. When I got a non molestation order she allowed me and my 2 boys to stay with her while I went to court for residence of my boys and occupation of the house. I left on 3rd Feb 2010 and it took until December 2010 - during which time I stayed with my mum. Now that I have residence of my boys and occupation of the house my mum is still helping me with everything I need or want. The last year has not been easy for her with everything she has done for me. I want to thank her with a small crystal sun catcher in the shape of the moon as a gift - although to me it is nowhere near enough for what she has done for me thoughout my life.