Friday, 2 January 2015

A Special Gift

January the 2nd is a rubbish day for a birthday, fortunately it’s not mine, but my brother Eddies! People are still in Christmas mode and all partied out, those who remember give a joint birthday and Christmas gift while others (like me this year, sorry Ed!) just forget until its too late to post a card or send a parcel. For my parents, a birthday just 8 days after Christmas has always been hard, especially when they had 4 young children and not a lot of money.

My mum has always done her best to make our birthday as special as possible, she also has a January birthday, so knows only too well the difficulties my brother faced.  Eddies 1st birthday was especially difficult financially for my parents, there was literally no money to buy Eddie a gift. Even though my mum knew, and others pointed out to her, he would never remember she refused to let the day go by without giving him a birthday present.

My mum and found a knitting pattern in a magazine my grandmother had passed on to her. The pattern was of a teddy bear and she decided she was going to knit him a teddy. Not having the money to buy wool my mum took a jumper she had previously knitted for Eddie that he had grown out of, carefully unravelled it and set about knitting him the bear. Being very talented it took her 2 days and Eddie, who knew nothing about any of this, loved his gift. He called him Ed and it became a firm friend and followed him everywhere.

Then one day disaster struck and Ed disappeared, we searched and searched but Ed was gone for good. Eddie was devastated and over the years, despite moving into his teenage years and adulthood, Eddie would still mention his beloved teddy Ed.

Last year was a big year of change for Eddie, he got a job in Chorley, Lancashire, started at Liverpool University, moved away from all of his family and childhood friends and finally met the love of his life Isabel and asked her to marry him. With all this change my mum felt that Eddie might be missing a special someone in his life and painstakingly searched through 37 pages of wool on Amazon to find the exact wool she had used all those years ago. She spent hours scouring the internet for teddy bear patterns, starting, realising it wasn’t right and starting over with a new pattern. This time it took a lot longer than 2 days to knit Ed, but I’m pretty sure the look on my brother’s face when he opened his special present on Christmas eve was worth it.

My mum has always been an inspiration to me, and as I get older, face struggles with my children and hear stories I’ve always known from my childhood but from a different perspective she becomes even more of an inspiration. For me she is the perfect example of charity, love, devotion and dedication and the person I will always strive to be like. 

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