READER REPORT:

Loved ones remembered: Mum, my best friend

ANGIE SERRAO
Last updated 05:00 26/02/2013
Angie Serrao
FINAL BIRTHDAY: Angie Serrao and her mum on her mum's last birthday.

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It has been 181 days since my beautiful mum passed away.

I never thought I would be an orphan at 27. My father passed away from general bad health complications when I was 22. I had thought that was hard, taking time off from uni, taking care of mum and my brother. In reality, I didn't have to deal with the things that needed to be dealt with when someone passes, mum did all that.

She was such a strong and incredible woman. She was a scientist and brilliant business woman. She had a PHD and a law degree, which she did just for 'fun'.

She was the DIY master at our house. She could fix, make or do anything, and when she couldn't, she tried any way.

My husband and I took her out for dinner for her birthday last year. The next day she told me she had thrown up as soon as she got home and didn't know what was wrong. I kept telling her she needed to go to the doctor. Eventually, I took time off to physically take her there.

It was a horrible month-and-a-half trying to get answers as mum got sicker and sicker. But eventually we got the answer I dreaded: liver cancer.

I can never thank the Mary Potter Hospice enough for what they did for mum and my brother, his partner, my husband, and I. They helped me get mum to Melbourne to visit my brother for the last time. They helped move her to my home so my husband and I could take care of her. They made the decision when I couldn't, that she needed to go in to the hospice for the last time.

The hardest thing of all was when all the toxins in her body congregated in her brain and made her confused and disorientated. It was as if my mum, who was always sharp as a tack, had already disappeared.

I sang to my mum, as she laid in her bed, the Spice Girls song 'Mama', that had been so popular when I was young.

"You used to be my only enemy and never let me free,

Catching me in places that I know I shouldn't be,

Every other day I crossed the line, I didn't mean to be so bad,

I never thought you would become the friend I never had,

Back then I didn't know why, why you were misunderstood,

So now I see through your eyes, all that you did was love,

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Mama I love you, Mama I care,

Mama I love you, Mama my friend,

My friend "

It wasn't until I knew I was going to lose her did I realise that she truly was my best friend and had always been there for me. She wasn't a saint, but neither was I.

She used to always tell me to grow up and I finally have. I want to be someone my mum and dad would have been proud of.


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