A Letter to my Mum

Amanda O'Neill by Amanda O'Neill Additional Needs

Amanda O'Neill

Amanda O'Neill

I’m Amanda, I’m 25 and mummy to my little angel Ryan who has quadriplegic dystonic cerebral palsy. I never knew in life what i wanted to be when I...

They say that a mother is her children’s first friend, well for me my mum was not only my first friend but she is, to this day, my best friend.

Dear mum, I wanted to write this letter to show you how much I appreciate you.

You have and will forever continue to be my rock. The day I found out I was expecting Ryan you were over the moon, you cried and told me it “was the best day of your life”.

You just could not wait to be a gran to my son.

You looked after me throughout my pregnancy and always made sure I was okay. You made me excited to be a mum. I want you to know that I genuinely could not have gotten through this journey without you.

On the 12th of January 2015, you became a gran for the first time and from the minute you saw Ryan, I knew you had fallen in love. I could tell you were so proud and from that moment, I knew that the bond between you and my son would be something special.

The hospital sometimes became a lonely place. When Ryan was in neonatal, I was in a ward without him. I got to watch all the other mums bond with their babies and I had to watch a nurse care for mine.

I did not feel like I got to properly be his mum, but I understood at the time that the nurses were only caring for him to make him better. You and my dad came to visit me every single day and the feelings of loneliness went away when you arrived because I had my mum.

Fast forward a few weeks on to diagnosis day; The day we found out that Ryan had cerebral palsy.

I came home and I broke my heart crying. You were there to pick myself and Christopher back up emotionally again. You reassured me that it does not matter what diagnosis Ryan has or what a brain scan shows, all that matters is Ryan.

You promised that our special family will always support him through everything, no matter what he needs or what difficulties he may face throughout his life. Mum that is exactly what you have done and what you continue to do.

Mum, thank you for always being there to take over when we are exhausted or for stepping in when things get too hard.

You are so thorough with Ryan’s care, so much so, you were confident that you wanted to learn how to feed Ryan via his NG tube and then his button. That in itself shows you are not fazed by his difficulties.

I also want to let you know how grateful myself and Christopher are for allowing us to have time to still be able to grow up.

From the beginning, at the age of 21 to today, being 25-year olds, we have still managed to socialise and maintain relationships with friends. That is because you have given us time to ourselves by watching Ryan overnight each Friday.

Finally, I just want to say thank you for loving my son unconditionally. I love seeing the look in his eyes when he sees you. I love the sound of his laughter when you give him a kiss and call him your “handsome prince”, also the smile on his face when he is around you.

You were made to be his gran. I honestly hope that I am the mum to Ryan that you are to me because then I would know I am doing the best I can do.


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