Laura Tonks, 31, from Hampshire, tells us how a family tragedy only made her mum Loraine stronger.
‘Thanks to my mum (and my dad), I had the best wedding ever. My partner Lee and I had to cancel our original date due to financial issues. Shortly after, Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but rather than feeling their worst, my mum and dad made the most amazing gesture.
They told me they’d pay for my wedding and my dad would walk me down the aisle. I was so overwhelmed I cried, and I knew my mum had a lot to do with it. It was an amazing day and everything went without a hiccup.
Then, exactly three months after my wedding, Dad passed away aged 58 – he was at home with his family just as he had wanted. Throughout it all my mum was a wonderful carer, not just to Dad, but to me and my brothers and her grandchildren. And now, a year after Dad died, instead of getting down, she’s getting stronger. She’s had to learn to do everything from online banking to finding herself a job. She’s doing so well and even finds time to help me with my son who has autism. I hope one day I can be even a little bit like her.
I’m incredibly proud of her and I know my dad would be, too. She deserves a treat so very much.’
‘My prize was amazing!’
Loraine got more than a photoshoot and a thank you from her daughter – she was also visited by a professional cleaning team who gave her home a deep clean!
‘They were so thorough, I sat outside to let them get on with it. I like to keep things clean, but they went into every cupboard and scrubbed every skirting board – there wasn’t a speck of dust left in the whole place! It smells lovely and fresh, too. I have mirrored wardrobe doors, which my grandchildren love to put their fingers all over – those marks were completely gone! And I also got a foot spa, a camera, a Kindle and a chair massager – I was a winner all round!’
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