I remember first hearing about Kate Green when Big Sis was barely one year old.
She’d been diagnosed with breast cancer, and when she realised the odds were beating her, she started writing notes for her two boys, Reef, then aged just five, and Finn, aged four.
They included all the things she wanted her boys to see, and do, and be. All the things she’d come to realise she wouldn’t be there to witness.
As the thoughts came to her she scribbled them down on Post-It notes, and scraps of paper, and in the pages of her diary. Later, when her hands were too weak, she determinedly tapped them out in texts.
They included everything from instructions for her husband Singe (kiss the boys twice each night; once from him and once from her; measure the boys on the door frame), to activities she wanted them to experience (holidaying in her favourite Welsh childhood spot; hand feed a wild robin), to pearls of motherly wisdom (never leave it more than a week before making up with someone, don’t let them ride a motorbike).
After she died, Singe and Kate’s mother Christine collated all the notes, and typed them into one big list – Mum’s List.
Two years later, Mum’s List was published in book; the world fell in love with Singe and the boys, and the love and devotion Kate had showed them right up until to her very last breath. And last year their heartbreaking story was beautifully told in a movie of the same name.
Starring Emilia Fox and Rafe Spall Mum’s List touchingly revisits Kate and Singe’s love story from the moment they met as teenagers, to losing her, to carrying out her last wishes.
Fulfilling the instructions on the list gave him and the boys purpose in the dark months after she died, keeping her close when they just weren’t ready to let her go yet. Over time, the holes in their hearts remained, but they grew less painful. Slowly, Singe and the boys they began to figure how to live their lives without Kate, just as she’d wanted them to.
The list is still an important part of their lives, but today it’s something they’re slowly making their way through, rather than pouring all their energy into. Two years ago Singe met someone – a single mum with two boys around the same age as his and Kate’s, and they all live together as a family. Proof that – even after the worst loss – love and happiness can be found again.
Mum’s List the movie is being released on DVD today: you can pick up your own copy via AMAZON, or buy or rent from iTUNES (get a little sneak peek below). Yes, this film comes with a tissue warning, but more than a tragic tale, it’s a story of hope and inspiration, and testament to the immeasurable power of a mother’s love.